Growing the Garden
Brookdale Elementary School in Orangeburg is one of 20 schools in South Carolina to receive a grant that supports environmental education.
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control recently announced the school will receive its Champions of the Environment award which includes $2,000 for a hydroponic gardening project.
Brookdale Elementary Students are looking beyond the traditional way of gardening with its community garden project. Thanks to the Champions of the Environment grant the school are able to purchase hydroponic garden labs for classrooms.
“They have to determine mathematically – are the plant actually growing like they should. This is not just mathematics by itself or science but it is also ELA because they have to write in their journals daily on what’s happening with our plants,” says Brookdale Elementary Math Coach Deloris Childs.
Brookdale Elementary School Principal LaTonya Nelson says the grant is helping to plant seeds into students future in more ways than one.
“The first thing that came to mind is just think about those students who have to take standardized test. Often times they are not as successful because they haven’t experienced certain things, just imagine if they are taking this assessment and the text might talk about gardening and because we have exposed them to this experience they’re able to better comprehend what that text is asking,” says Nelson.
Amanda Ley who is the Champions of Environment Coordinator with DHEC says the grants support educational projects that focus on pollution reduction, water or energy efficiency, or preserving natural areas.
“I definitely didn’t have the opportunity to be able to compare hydroponic gardening systems when I was a kid so for them to be able to do that and not only see what are some careers you can pursue in the environment but also to be able to do this at home,“ says Ley.
Brookdale Elementary students will be introducing parents to the hydroponic labs in February.
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