The Muhammad Ali Center is proud to announce its third annual “Muhammad Ali Center Peace Gardens” grant program. Since the program’s inception in 2010, over 100 garden projects in seven countries have been established, touching the lives of more than 10,000 children. Muhammad Ali Center Peace Gardens promote respect for different cultures, hunger relief and nutrition through gardening.
The program is funded by Yum! Brands Foundation. Yum! Brands’ commitment to the program includes $100,000 in awards to establish multicultural gardens in underprivileged schools through 2014, as well as contributions of educational materials and a classroom curriculum translated into six languages. The National Gardening Association, a recognized leader in the field, is providing assistance with curriculum development and the grant process.
Named after global humanitarian and sports icon, Muhammad Ali, the Peace Gardens program brings youth of different cultures together for a good cause. This year, fifty winners will be selected from around the globe to receive a $500 garden package to enhance or begin a garden program. Past recipients have included projects across the U.S., and in Pakistan, Mexico, Grenada and Haiti to name a few.
“We are so proud to be part of this effort to bring gardens to communities in need,” says Michael Metallo, President and CEO of the National Gardening Association. “This collaboration has connected over 100 youth garden programs worldwide, giving students the opportunity to learn about different cultures while increasing their access to healthy foods.”
The initiative is based on a successful pilot program undertaken by the John F. Kennedy Montessori Elementary School in Louisville, Kentucky. The teacher-led project helped nearly 600 pre-school to fifth grade students from Asia, South America, Russia, Cuba, and the U.S., learn how to work across cultures to build gardens with plants from around the world. The students participated in every phase of the project, including planting, nurturing, harvesting, cooking and donating food to the hungry.