Brightside Academy Develops Nutrition Awareness with Philadelphia Urban Farm

Many children in urban areas do not have the opportunity to learn about agriculture and sustainability hands on, as farming areas are limited. Brightside Academy collaborated with Novick Brothers Corporation to educate the children in our Philadelphia academies about urban farming, nutrition, and earth sciences through the Novick Brothers urban farm, located in Southern Philadelphia.

Brightside Academy’s Philadelphia Food Services Manager, Nancy Bellamy, developed the activity with Novick Brothers Corporation, Brightside Academy’s food distributor, to incorporate nutrition awareness into the curriculum. The program was launched in 2012 with the goal of teaching children the importance of nutrition as well as teaching the plant life cycle. The children complete pre-and-post trip activities that focus on Pennsylvania Early Learning Standards such as scientific thinking regarding earth sciences, agriculture, and ecology.

During the trip, the children learn about a variety of fruits and vegetables. They have the opportunity to taste test carrot based items; carrot sticks, carrot juice, and a carrot muffin to see the difference between each type of product. The trip concludes when the children put their hand prints on the wall of the farm, pledging to promote nutrition at home and make healthy choices.
“The Novick urban farm has been a great way for us to give the children a hands on-experience with food and gardening. We discuss eating five servings of fruit and vegetables each day, so the children get nutrition material as well. The children really enjoy exploring the farm and getting to try the different types of food,” stated Nancy Bellamy. 

The Novick Brothers Corporation urban farm was founded in 2012 by Gary Novick. Gary’s family established the business and created the farm to contribute to the community. The company uses the urban farm to educate children about horticulture, agriculture, nutrition, and sustainability. The farm is harvested in the spring and fall each year by local organization such as Urban Tree Connection and North East Treatment Centers. The produce is donated to food banks around Philadelphia. Learn more about Novick's Urban Farm here.

Want to educate your family on urban farming and nutrition? Check out the resources below.
Learn more about Brightside Academy's events and activities on our Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest pages, or visit