Taher, Inc. and Noble Academy Announce Partnership To Plant School Garden

Taher, Inc. and Noble Academy are excited to announce a partnership to plant a school garden on the Noble Academy site. With input from the University of Minnesota Master Gardner Program, planting and cultivation will begin as soon as the ground thaws.

Trent Taher at the Farm Dinner

Trent Taher, Director of Health and Nutrition at Taher, Inc.

Deputy Superintendent of Academics Noble Academy

Dr. Mai Yia Chang, Deputy Superintendent of Academics at Noble Academy

Superintendent Thao Noble Academy

Neal P. Thao, Superintendent of Noble Academy

When asked about what kind of impact does having a garden have on the students, Superintendent Thao said “we want our kids to understand and be stewards of the environment. How to harvest and protect and preserve nature especially how to nurture it. We should all be doing it”

Dr. Chang added “We are an experiential learning facility. Teaching kids how to read and write is essential, but reading about something is far different than actually getting your hands on it. Previously, we did garden in a box and the kids loved it! Teachers really liked it and the feeling of ownership really helps kids. Also, culturally, many of these kids come from places where growing their own food was extremely important. We want to be able to connect the kids to who they were and show the connection between the garden and science. Teachers are also looking for ways to incorporate it into other disciplines like math. We bring everything back to the experiential learning. Showing kids the process of something from beginning to end – it’s not just something you go to the grocery store and get.

Parents are very excited because it is what they did in their old country and they want to share it with their kids. We’d like to infuse herbs and spices like what they would use at home. In the long term, it will bring our community together and kids will learn compassion and a sense of community.”

Trent Taher: “What’s so significant about this project, what gives us energy is the enthusiasm of Thao and Chang. Adding the curriculum from the U of M really brings it full circle. It’s really fun to work on this project.” He added “It’s interesting to learn that prior to World War II, most schools had a garden and provided food so this isn’t an entirely new concept. That’s how lunch was served!”

Dr. Chang: “Trent’s passion and drive rubbed off on us and it’s fun to work with Taher. What impressed us the most about Taher was the amount of fresh food you used in school food production. We have a deep passion to close the achievement gap and everyone is committed to providing a world-class education. This new garden will help with that greatly.”

About Noble Academy:

Noble is a Title I school. The mission and vision of Noble Academy are embedded into the day-to-day activities. The mission is to provide quality, relevant and multicultural education for all students. The unique framework is relevancy, which is a critical component for the learning process if and when the students can build their prior knowledge. Learning makes more sense and is more connected when students can relate to the content and/or topics being taught.

About Taher, Inc.:

Taher, Inc. is a contract food service management company providing K-12 school lunch management, campus dining, senior dining, business dining and catering, summer camp dining, and vending and office coffee services to clients in 16 states. Taher employs 2800 people that are completely focused on bring the best possible level of service and fresh food to all of our clients.