Dole Packaged Foods joins Crest Foods and Captain Planet Foundation to celebrate Project Learning Garden at Cesar Chavez Elementary School in Oklahoma City

May 9, 2017, Oklahoma City, OK - - Today, Oklahoma City Public Schools, executives from Crest Foods, Dole Packaged Foods, and Captain Planet Foundation inaugurated a special Learning Garden for Cesar Chavez Elementary. Together, these three organizations joined forces with Cesar Chavez Elementary to offer students the opportunity to interact with the environment through a learning garden, while expanding their palates and learning about food origins.

Cesar Chavez Elementary School was one of two schools designated in the Fall of 2016 for a “Learning Garden Grant,” a community outreach initiative by Dole and Crest Foods that offered schools in the Oklahoma City/ Norman area the chance to receive the installation of a Learning Garden. The other school was Kennedy Elementary in Norman.

The garden project, which consists of four raised beds planted with assorted vegetables and fruits, will provide students at César Chávez Elementary with an outdoor learning area where they can harvest, plant, watch the crops grow, and even taste the fresh fruits and vegetables. 

“Here at Dole, we understand the importance of teaching children the benefits of incorporating fruits and vegetables into their diet, whether they are enjoying fresh produce from their learning garden, or a healthy Dole snack,” said Larry White, Vice President - Sales, Dole Packaged Foods. “By partnering with Captain Planet Foundation and Crest Foods, we are helping more students learn about and develop healthy habits.”

“Anything can be taught in the context of the garden, and hands-on learning supports student understanding of natural systems, food origins, and healthy eating,” explained Leesa Carter, Executive Director of Captain Planet Foundation. “Captain Planet Foundation is dedicated to nurturing the next generation of environmental stewards, and ensuring they are armed with an understanding of the natural world in which they live. We are thrilled to be working with Crest Foods and Dole to provide Cesar Chavez Elementary with a CPF Learning Garden!”

"We are excited to bring this Learning Garden to Cesar Chavez Elementary School”, said Will Houghtlin, Specialty Foods Buyer, Crest Foods. “We strive to give back to the communities that we are so lucky to be part of and we are grateful to have the opportunity to contribute to improving the quality of the life for children through education around nutrition and healthy living."

“The project gives our students an opportunity to be outside learning and is available to all grade levels at the school,” stated Principal Dr. Laura Morris. “When students can become actively engaged in this type of project, they learn much more because they become a part of the learning. They must problem solve, plan, discuss ideas, develop relationships, and cooperate with each other to reach a goal.”

 About Captain Planet Foundation (CPF)

Based on the critically-acclaimed animated series Captain Planet and the Planeteers, CPF was co-founded in 1991 by media mogul Ted Turner and producer Barbara Pyle.   Since then, the Captain Planet Foundation has played a critical role in helping to ensure that the next generation of business leaders and policy makers are environmentally literate citizens who leverage technology and information to manage and protect the air, land, and water upon which all life depends.

CPF is a grant-making foundation that has funded over 2,000 hands-on environmental education projects with schools and non-profits that serve children in all 50 U.S. states and in 23 countries internationally. More than 1.2 million children have directly participated in and benefited from these educational projects.  In addition to its Small Grants Program, the Captain Planet Foundation also operates the following programs: Project Learning Garden, the Leadership Center, SAGES, Planeteer Clubs, and several other science education initiatives that exploit the intersections between technology, innovation, the environment and personal action.  For more information: http://www.captainplanetfoundation.org

About Crest Foods

Crest is known as the "Home of Rock Bottom Prices." Founder Nick Harroz's dad taught him to "stack it high and sell it cheap," and Crest is still doing that today.  How is Crest able to provide such high-quality product at "Rock Bottom Prices"?

1) We buy direct from 150 manufacturers and the largest supplier in the state.

2) We do not spend large sums of money on advertising.

3) Low overhead. Pay no rent. Own our own facilities.

4) No games, no gimmicks or expensive frills.

5) Rock bottom prices, everyday!

About Dole Packaged Foods

Dole Packaged Foods LLC, a subsidiary of Dole International Holdings, is a leader in growing, sourcing, distributing and marketing fruit, vegetables and healthy snacks throughout the world.  Dole markets a full line of innovative packaged, frozen and dried fruit. The company focuses on four pillars of sustainability in all its operations: water management, carbon footprint, soil conservation and packaging. For more information, please visit www.dolesunshine.com or www.doleintlcsr.com.

About Oklahoma City Public Schools

Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS) is a multi-cultural district serving approximately 46,000 students. Our students are educated throughout 54 neighborhood elementary schools, 16 secondary schools, 2 special centers and 15 charter schools located in a 135.5 square miles in the center of Oklahoma.  For more information, visit www.okcps.org.