Where does food come from and how does it make its way to my plate?  Today’s children don’t always know the answer to this question as families have transitioned away from farm life to suburban living.  A grant that funds innovation will provide an answer for children at Cave Spring, Garden Lakes and Pepperell Elementary schools. The Governor’s Office of Student Achievement has selected Floyd County Schools as one of the Fiscal Year 2017 Innovation Fund tiny grant award winners that will provide $6,162.80 for raised bed gardens at the three elementary schools.  The system was one of 20 winners announced in the grant program.

The funds will be used to build raised bed gardens at the three elementary schools to grow vegetables that will ultimately make their way to the school kitchen and be served to students at the school. The students will build and plant the beds using math and science skills in real-life problem-solving.  They will determine the area needed to grow the vegetables and the amount of soil needed to fill the beds. 

“We selected vegetable gardens because many of our students are not familiar with where their food comes from and how to grow healthy options,” stated Barbara Smith, director of school improvement and professional learning for Floyd County Schools. “The mission of the project is to not only educate children in the areas of science and math but also in critical life skills that can sustain them through life.”
 Students will also use language arts skills as they take pictures and journal about their experience and what they have learned participating in the project. Approximately 250 children will participate in first through fifth-grade at the schools.
“This is a far more engaging hands-on approach to learning and requires teachers to think about content and apply it to the real world,” added Smith. “Children will see a link between their labors and the healthy food options on their lunch plate and hopefully they will be more willing to try something they had a hand in preparing.”

The Innovation Fund Tiny Grant program is a competitive grant opportunity that provides funding to implement small-scale projects that engage students. Floyd County Schools was selected for a grant in the Applied Learning and focus on STEAM Education category.