Cee Lo Green sows school gardens

Musician's foundation partners with Atlanta Christian Academy

It’s not easy being green, but Cee Lo Green is trying to make it a little easier for school kids in Atlanta.

The musician and his sister Shedonna Alexander have co-founded the GreenHouse Foundation, a nonprofit org that will bring a “green education” to underserved school districts. The foundation formally bowed last week with a ceremony at Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy, Green’s elementary school alma mater.

The siblings were inspired by their family’s philanthropic legacy. Grandmother Ruby Callaway Robinson helped initiate the Just Say No anti-drug campaign in the late 1980s, and his mother, Sheila J. Callaway Tyler, was one of the first African-American female firefighters in Atlanta.

“Lo and I knew we had to do something to fill those shoes,” Alexander says.

The siblings decided to focus on the environment to address a need they saw in their hometown.

“Our kids don’t know how to garden, which teaches us so many life skills like math and science,” Alexander says. “Lo and myself wanted do something that was fresh, relevant, and absolutely needed.”

The kids will also use the produce from the outdoor garden to run their own farmers market, which will serve a larger purpose for the community that suffers a lack of available fresh fruits and veggies.

Alexander calls it a “grocery store desert.”

“The nearest grocery store is five miles away, which prevents the elderly from being walking distance from fresh and healthy produce,” she says. “So our goal is for our kids to feed the elderly.”

Alexander has already seen the positive impact the foundation is having on her community.

“There’s not a day that I don’t get a phone call or an email, ‘Hi Shedonna, what are we gonna plant today? Have you seen this huge cucumber?’

“It’s really blessed my spirit to know that something as simple as a garden can bless so many people … from the students, to the community to the home.”