By Dominic Garcia

DENVER (CBS4)– A program at a Denver Public School is a hit with kids and their parents. Marie L. Greenwood Academy has a Cooking from the Garden class for their Each One Teach One program.

It’s all thanks to a grant from Whole Foods to their community partner, Slow Food USA, after school on Wednesdays.

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“The hands on in the garden is a significant contributor toward long term retention,” says Mary Anne Bash, the program’s director.

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Students cook in the classroom first and then plant the crops of the foods they just ate.

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So when students harvest when they return in August, they’ll know how to prepare healthy dishes from the garden bounty.

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The school is located in what’s considered a “food desert,” a place with little access to fresh produce.

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Once students know how to grow the food, they can take that home with them.

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“Growing your own food is like printing your own money. You take one miniscule tomato seed and you can produce 50 cherry tomatoes,” Bash told CBS4.

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Students are also assigned books to read about food. Edwin Benton says it’s teaching him skills he can use in the future.

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“If you don’t know how to cook and you’re a parent that’s going to be bad news because how are you going to feed your family,” he told CBS4.

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Edwin Benton (credit: CBS)

The program not only teaches subjects like biology, botany, and horticulture, but life long lessons.

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“The socialization of kids, good manners, respect for others, and passions. That’s what we do.”

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Dominic Garcia anchors CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and reports for CBS4 News at 10 p.m. Connect with the Denver native on Twitter @cbs4dom & on Facebook.

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