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TWIGS Curriculum

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The TWIGS (Teams With Intergenerational Support) Youth Development Program is a locally developed curriculum that helps children learn about healthy food choices through a connection to gardening.

The value of this curriculum is its emphasis on the connection between gardening and nutrition through the provision of 15 gardening lessons and 15 nutrition lessons that give clear guidance to leaders of youth in elementary grades. 

Download TWIGS Curriculum

The garden is a powerful experiential tool that can connect children with science, nutrition, food and fiber production, ecological responsibility and community beautification. It provides opportunities for application of math and science principles, language arts and multicultural awareness.

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Involving children in the development, planting, care of, harvesting and consumption of a vegetable garden has great potential for positively impacting children's attitudes, preferences for, and consumption of vegetables.

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Implications in the area of nutrition education are positive, yet often are not addressed in gardening programs or curriculums. This lack of connection became a focus of TWIGS—connecting gardening lessons with nutrition lessons.

The idea for TWIGS was born out of the continuing commitment of Cooperative Extension to help youth more fully develop their potential through participation in real-life educational experiences, whether formal or non-formal. Educational goals are to provide youth with opportunities to learn new skills and knowledge, work together cooperatively, develop decision-making skills, and become productive, responsible citizens of their communities. TWIGS is designed to be community-based and to integrate schools, agencies and the community to focus on the positive development of children.

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Research Supporting Nutrition Education Through Gardening