Planting the Seeds of Change with International Schools in Rome

In celebration of Earth Day 2011, three of Rome’s international schools created sustainable gardens with the sponsorship of the U.S. Mission to the UN Agencies (USUN) in Rome.

For the past four months, students and teachers of the New School Rome, the American Overseas School of Rome, and Marymount International School worked to build, plant, and maintain these vegetable gardens on their campuses with the support of FAO and WFP.  The physical work of building the gardens was paired with classroom lessons on hunger relief, nutrition, and agricultural development.
The purpose of the gardens is to raise students’ awareness of the environment, food production and security, and sustainability.  Inspiration for the gardens came from the “victory garden” planted by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House.  Even though the three schools faced different challenges in their efforts, each was successful in growing organic vegetables that will later be used in the schools’ cafeterias or for sales.  
On 12 April, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN Agencies in Rome, Ertharin Cousin, the U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, Miguel Diaz, and representatives from FAO and WFP joined the schools in a ceremony to honor the students’ achievements.  Ambassador Diaz praised the children, explaining “It’s through small but significant actions like these that we can all make a difference on Earth Day.”  The gathering ended with Ambassadors Cousin and Diaz planting symbolic seedlings.  
Check out the videos below to see each school's garden.