Our state's tomatoes are nationally recognized as being among the best in the world. To pay homage to the great work being done in our state and to promote local agriculture, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture honors those who have excelled in providing Jersey Fresh produce to school children in our state. They are the Top Tomatoes in the Jersey Fresh Farm to School Program!
Bianca Aniski, is a School Nurse at the Ethel A. Jacobsen Elementary School located in Surf City where she coordinates the schoolyard garden. Foundational to the specialty of School Nursing is the certainty that “healthy students will make better learners.” During her interview, Bianca noted that “There is not a more perfect arena to teach children about health and nutrition than a schoolyard garden. EVERY SCHOOL NEEDS A GARDEN as a platform and teaching tool because with a little imagination and flexibility the garden will teach across the curriculum to every subject area. Every child in this district loves being in the garden!”
Over the last 8 plus years, Bianca has tirelessly organized the school’s garden-based learning program known as “Digging in the Dirt, A Schoolyard Garden.” You can virtually visit this school garden at: www.DiggingInTheDirt.org The garden is supported by an enthusiastic teaching staff, excited students, and engaged parents. Garden sustainability is made possible via the AtlantiCare Healthy Schools, Healthy Children initiative, the local LBI Parent/Teacher Association, the local LBI Board of Education, and many, many other community partners that help to satisfy a vigorous push toward funding and grant-writing.