District Five schools selected for 2021 School Garden & Education Assistance Program

Two schools in Lexington-Richland School District Five have been selected to participate in the 2021 School Garden & Education Assistance Program.

Harbison West Elementary School and Irmo High School International School for the Arts are among the 20 schools statewide selected to take part in the program. The program is designed to introduce children to hands-on agriculture and nutrition education, as well as encourage public schools to use locally grown South Carolina produce in their school menus. The effort will support better health outcomes for children and economic opportunities for local farmers.

Each awarded school will receive:
· An all-inclusive school garden kit to be delivered to the school for the purpose of growing fruits, vegetables and/or flowers.
· A hands-on training workshop for the awardee’s garden team as well as an online training course.
· The Garden Stem: Curriculum for your Garden Classroom (K-8 agriculture and nutrition-based lesson plans customized to South Carolina state teaching standards)
· Seasonal Planting Guide and Calendar for School Gardens

“I am very excited that Irmo High School International School of the Arts will be a part of the School Garden and Education Instruction Assistance Program,” said Irmo High School Special Education teacher Christine Hampton. “I applied for this program to expand our
students’ education through exploring, growing and creating. The training and gardening materials will allow us to expand our current gardens, and give us the ability to grow larger
quantities of fruit, vegetables and plants on our school campus.”

Harbison West Elementary School is looking forward to adding the garden to their school campus.

“We are very excited that our students will have this opportunity to have hands-on learning, problem solving, inquiry, and an opportunity to connect their classroom learning to the real-world experiences of growing vegetables and flowers,” said Joanna Neal, Harbison West Elementary teacher. “Our desire for this program is to cultivate a love of gardening and plant seeds of environmental awareness for our lifelong learners. We all are very eager for our students to start digging in!”

School Gardening for SC Educators is a program offered and facilitated by the Clemson University Extension. This program was made possible by initial funding from the Boeing Company, S.C. through a partnership with the College of Charleston’s Food Systems Change Initiative.