Surgoinsville students eating their lessons thanks to gardening grant

Jeff Bobo • Oct 12, 2019 at 3:30 PM

SURGOINSVILLE – Fourth graders at Surgoinsville Elementary School have been eating some of their daily lessons thanks to “Ag in the Classroom” grants awarded the past two years.

SES's fourth grade teachers Cindy Childress, Morgan McCullough, April Skeen and Abigale Daniels were awarded a $500 grant last year and a $250 grant this year through the Farm Bureau’s Tennessee Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom.

“The funds paid for an outdoor classroom garden at our school,” said SES principal Amanda Smith. “Through this program they receive lesson plans that are interdisciplinary to teach math, science, language arts and Social Studies. Currently they are growing broccoli, cauliflower, kale, carrots, red and green lettuce, and they will plant again in the spring.”

Each month someone from Hawkins County's UT Agriculture Extension Office visits SES's fourth graders to conduct hands on gardening activities and cook in the classroom using the crops they have raised in their garden.

During the most a recent Extension Office visit students made “Carrot Crunch” which the majority of students enjoyed.

“Most of the students enjoy what they make,” Smith said. “Students really have enjoyed the outdoor classroom garden. They enjoy seeing the fruits of their labor, going outside and getting their hands a little dirty, and watching their plants grow each week due to their hard work and nurturing.”

Smith added, “I just want to thank my teachers for the work they've put into this grant, and hopefully they'll be able to continue it each year.”