Feed Fannin Supports Gardening Education in Our Schools

Feed Fannin volunteer planting a raised bed with elementary school students.

Feed Fannin supports both in-school and after school education programs at the three elementary schools in Fannin County.

Through our in-school programs, we partner with the schools in the district to provide specialized instruction in garden-based learning. We accomplish this by connecting teachers with community ‘experts’ in gardening. These individuals are from two local organization, Feed Fannin and the North Georgia Master Gardeners. Through our support services, we also help the schools and other organizations build new educational gardens and sustain existing gardens with supplies, training and consultation. We provide seeds, starts, soil, gardening tools and supplies, garden education and design consultation.

Our after school program at Blue Ridge Elementary School (BRES), the Cool Kids Grow Garden Club, is based on the National Junior Master Gardener curriculum. Using standards-based lessons, we strive for a balance between garden fun and academic rigor to third and fourth graders at this school. The Junior Master Gardener (JMG) program engages children in novel, “hands-on” group and individual learning experiences that promote a love of gardening, develop an appreciation for the environment, and cultivate problem solving skills.

JMG encourages youth to be of service to others through service learning and leadership development projects and rewards them with certification.

This year the students in the Cool Kids Grow Garden Club at BRES built bluebird houses and donated these to the city of Blue Ridge. The students also maintained the perennial beds at their school and at the Blue Ridge Senior Center. Fourteen new Junior Master Gardeners graduated on May 10, 2018. In order to become certified as a Junior Master Gardener the student must attend 90% of the 20 club meetings, complete 2 group service projects and pass a JMG final with an 80% or higher score. Congratulations to all the new Junior Master Gardeners at BRES!

Submitted by Kate George