CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The state Department of Education is getting its hands dirty.
The department has launched a container gardening pilot project to help young children cultivate a taste for fresh fruits and vegetables.
Spokeswoman Liza Cordeiro says the project includes 32 child care sites in 12 counties that participate in the federal Child and Adult Care Food Program.
The participating counties are Cabell, Jackson, Harrison, Gilmer, Greenbrier, Kanawha, Marion, Mason, Putnam, Upshur, Wayne and Wyoming.
Each participating center will receive a two-year grant to grow a container garden in their child care centers. The harvested produce and herbs will be incorporated into the child centers' food programs.
State Schools Superintendent Jorea Marple says exposing young children to the benefits of fresh fruit and vegetables can help them develop lifelong healthy eating habits.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)