At Bartram High School, in Southwest Philadelphia, there are few resources to nurture healthy minds and bodies. Teachers put forth their best effort to reach the young people in our community. There are many success stories to celebrate and honor, but there are also stories about the many unmet needs of pur young people. Last year, a determined group of students refused to accept the status quo at Bartram. Though few in number, they named themselves the Bartram Wellness Warriors. They decided to wage a war against apathy, poor eating choices, lack of physical activity, difficulties with mental health issues and the unknown potential to grow their own food in local gardens. The first step was to rejuvenate the harden beds around the school. Despite a few setbacks, students, with help from Bartram Garden staff, grew lettuce, broccoli, kale,tomatoes and cucumbers. More produce will be grown as new beds are established around the school. Next, we received a grant called "Typical or Troubled Teens" from the American Psychiatric Association to provide support in groups after school. These discussions helped students who had experienced bullying and peer pressure. Additional grants received recently will promote healthy eating habits through completing taste samplings from dairy, protein, grains and produce choices. The Bartram Wellness Warriors will continue to flourish this upcoming year with support from staff, community members and others invested in the Southwest Philadelphia neighborhood surrounding Bartram High School.
Funded by Philadelphia, PA (September 2015)