Two schools in Lexington-Richland 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 20 schools statewide selected to take part in the program.

“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.”

The program is designed to introduce children to hands-on agriculture and nutrition education, as well as encourage public schools to incorporate locally grown produce in school menus. The effort will support good health for students and better 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 school's garden team as well as an online training course
  • The Garden Stem: Curriculum for the garden classroom 
  • A 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.”

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