Lettuce give a round of applause to Alena Shinabery, a third-grader at Mark Twain Elementary, who won the National Bonnie Plants Third-Grade Cabbage Program.

It's no easy feat growing a 26.6-pound cabbage, but that's exactly what Mark Twain Elementary third-grader Alena Shinabery did. And because of her efforts, she was named the Colorado winner of the Bonnie Plants' Kids Grow Green: Cashing in Cabbage contest and received a $1,000 scholarship. Bonnie Plants has 80 greenhouses across the country and is the largest producer of vegetables and herb plants in North America, and its national program allows for more than one million third-graders to earn their green thumbs and gain valuable gardening experience.
"The joy of gardening and the satisfaction of growing healthy food are gifts that kids never outgrow," said president and CEO of Bonnie Plants, Stan Cope. "We're grateful for the opportunity to share these gifts with the next generation of gardeners."
Cabbages are delivered to classrooms signed up for the program, and when the season is over, teachers are tasked with selecting one student who has grown the best cabbage. Factors like size and overall appearance are considered. A digital image of the student's cabbage must be submitted online, which automatically enters them in the contest. Winners for each of the 48 participating states are then randomly selected by the Commission of Agriculture. To sign your classroom up for the National Bonnie Plants Third-Grade Cabbage Program, click here. Congratulations to Alena and all of the other winners! What do you think about this program being implemented in more schools? Maybe even with more grades having the opportunity to participate? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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