ITHACA, N.Y. — The integration of food, agriculture, and nutrition in schools is made easy, relevant and successful for teachers with New York Agriculture in the Classroom’s investment of $65,000 in the third annual Grow with Us Grant. Sixteen indoor grow systems will be awarded to urban, rural, and suburban schools across the state. The goal of the Grow with Us Grant is to provide teachers the vehicle and tools to facilitate experiential learning opportunities and allow students to interact with growing food, even during the coldest months of the year.
Grow with Us Grant recipients will receive one of three available grow systems: the 2445 SuperGrow System, a Tower Garden System, or a high tunnel. Schools were awarded the grow system that best met their educational goals, classroom space needs, experience level in school gardening, and curriculum integration. The grow systems provided by the Grow with Us Grant will help raise teachers’ and students’ agricultural awareness by making connections to food and nutrition. The systems serve as garden laboratory where food-based learning is integrated with math, science, language arts, and social studies, while helping teachers meet their curriculum requirements. In addition, recipients will receive educational resources, workshop opportunities, and access to a growing network of school food gardeners throughout the state.
Out of forty-nine total submissions, eight educators were awarded with 2445 Organics SuperGrow Systems, seven educators were awarded with Tower Garden Systems, and one school was awarded a high tunnel. Plans for the awarded grow systems include growing vegetables to make into soup and salads that will be sold to school staff, helping students make healthier food choices, providing growing space for schools primarily surrounded by pavement, making cross-curricular connections to all areas of study, and more. Over 9,300 students will have the chance to interact with these systems and learn firsthand the connection of agriculture to their everyday lives. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 shutdown of schools and non-essential businesses, the grow systems will be delivered in September to celebrate the new school year.
2445 Organics SuperGrow Systems Recipients:
Emily Hartzell, PS 363 The Neighborhood School- New York, New York
Thomas Rose, Sidney Central School District- Sidney, New York
Michelle Nowak, Hudson High School- Hudson, New York
Rae Schraver, Cambridge Central School- Cambridge, New York
Todd J. Burker, Carthage Central School- Carthage, New York
Deborah Kalivoda, Floyd L. Bell Elementary- Kirkwood, New York
Kathleen McCabe, North Collins Junior Senior High School- North Collins, New York
Ann Alvord, The Riverview School- Long Island City, New York
Tower Garden Recipients:
Anna Solovyeva, Harvest Collegiate High School, NYC DOE- New York, New York
Benjamin Otto, Life Sciences Secondary School- Brooklyn, New York
Kate Jones, Burnt Hills Ballston Lake High School- Burnt Hills, New York
Emily Scott, Forestville Elementary School- Forestville, New York
Kyle Canfield, Scio Central School District- Scio, New York
Jeremiah Best, Town of Webb UFSD- Old Forge, New York
Louis Chugranis, South Orangetown Middle School, Blauvelt, New York
High Tunnel Recipient:
Steven Zdrojewski, Hamburg Middle School- Hamburg, New York
For more information about the Grow with Us Grant, visit the New York Agriculture in the Classroom website at www.agclassroom.org/ny. New York Agriculture in the Classroom is a partnership of Cornell University, NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets, NYS Education Department, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and NY Farm Bureau. New York Agriculture in the Classroom fosters an awareness, understanding, and appreciation of our food and fiber system.
—Katie Carpenter, New York Agriculture in the Classroom