Yellville-Summit School District

Yellville-Summit School is located in Marion County in the north central region of the state. Approximately 36% of children in Marion County are living in poverty and currently 77% of elementary students at Y-S are eligible for free/reduced lunch program. These numbers indicate that many of the families in our school district experience some level of food insecurity. According to Marion County Health rankings for 2011, 63.5% of our residents are overweight or obese and only 48.7% report meeting physical activity recommendations (2007). According to BRFSS data for the past decade, less than 30% of Arkansans meet the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables.

There is a need to increase awareness of health benefits involved in growing, processing, and consuming fresh produce. In a policy statement issued by the AAP in 2006, "lifestyle-related physical activity, as opposed to aerobics or calisthenics, is critical for sustained weight loss in children". Gardening is definitely a lifestyle-related physical activity and if these studies translate to similar results in other age groups, which they likely do, additional time outdoors in the garden will benefit participants of all ages, not only for the time spent in gardening, but the encouragement to be active at other times.

Many beneficial partners have been involved in the current program and we anticipate continued involvement into the future. Marion County Cooperative extension, Yellville Farmer's Market, Y-S Coordinated School Health and many area businesses have partnered with the garden to provide resources, support and volunteer hours. The Yellville-Summit School garden is comprised of a demonstration garden with 26 beds, a high tunnel with approximately 800 square foot of growing space, and a hillside area to expand the garden with terraced beds (one bed