N.O. students get their hands dirty while learning

Johnny Morgan  |  10/17/2009 1:33:27 AM

News Release Distributed 10/19/09

Students at Warren Easton High School in New Orleans along with 10 other schools around the state really know what it means to get down and dirty, thanks to a $25,000 grant secured by the LSU AgCenter’s 4-H Youth Development office.

The ribbon-cutting celebration for the Orleans Parish school’s new garden included the placement of a sign to show off the 286-square-foot vegetable garden located at the school.

Pamela Marquis, LSU AgCenter 4-H agent in Orleans Parish, is working with the 19 students from Andrea Spreter’s math and science classes to make the garden a success.

“This is a win-win situation for the school and for 4-H. The students gain practical experience working in the garden, and we get to bring 4-H programming into the school,” Marquis said.

She said the students’ garden is bountiful with vegetables such as tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, cabbage, collard greens, onions, squash, beets and cauliflower.

“The goal of this project is to grow kids by igniting a passion for learning, success and service through a unique gardening education,” said Dr. Janet Fox, associate professor in 4-H Youth Development.

Warren Easton High School, in collaboration with LSU AgCenter, recently received a $1,000 grant from the Louisiana Serve Commission for the Louisiana 4-H Seeds for Service School Garden program. This grant will help the already-flourishing garden.

“Louisiana 4-H Seeds is an interdisciplinary approach designed to educate youth while serving their community. In this outdoor classroom, youth apply math, reading, writing and science to a ‘real-world’ setting,” Marquis said.

The project provides an opportunity to link service and learning through an outdoor classroom.

The major objectives of the program are to teach youth about environmental stewardship and scientific principles while getting connected to and serving the community.

Through this project, youth will also participate in at least one National Day of Service.

The Louisiana 4-H Seeds program is supported by the Junior Master Gardener curriculum and aligned with the Louisiana Department of Education Grade Level Expectations.

The other schools involved in the program include: Sacred Heart Elementary in Moreauville; Beauregard Alternative School, DeRidder; Ingersoll Elementary School, Shreveport; Ralph Wilson Elementary School, Lake Charles; Central/SSAAC, Ville Platte; Dorseyville Elementary, Dorseyville; Carencro Middle School, Carencro; Belle Chase Academy, Belle Chase; Start Elementary and Middle School, Start; and Cypress Cove Elementary, Cypress Cove.

For information on how to start a vegetable garden at your school, contact your local LSU AgCenter Extension Service office or visit the Web site at www.lsuagcenter.com.

Johnny Morgan

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