Cherrydale Elementary’s Project Learning Garden
Students at Cherrydale Elementary are enjoying the fruits of their labor – literally. Debra Johnson, principal of Cherrydale Elementary, along with Superintendent Burke Royster and representatives from Dole Packaged Foods, Ingles, and the Captain Planet Foundation, announced a grant that will provide funding to expand and improve the school garden. It is the first school in South Carolina to receive such a grant.
“Two years ago, we received a grant from Gardening for Good and Project Hope to start a raised-bed garden,” said Challenge Teacher Cindy Gibbs. “Now, with the help of a grant from Captain Planet, Dole Packaged Foods, and Ingles, we will be able to create bigger planting beds so we can plant a more diverse crop of vegetables.” The grant also includes a portable kitchen cart complete with utensils, bowls, and other kitchen items, and Mrs. Gibbs plans to add a composting bin later this year.
“We are so fortunate to have this opportunity for our children to learn different content while working in the garden,” said Principal Debra Johnson. “Our students are learning about healthy food choices and nutrition, as well as the wonderful skills they can learn while growing a garden. It’s such a great extension of our total school program.”
“As I was looking at the garden and talking to some of you, I was thinking about what we have in mind for you as you go through school. We want you to be prepared for a career when you graduate,” said Superintendent Royster. “This is an opportunity for you to develop the knowledge, skills and characteristics to become a successful graduate and a good employee. Thank you to the companies, individuals, and the foundation that have made this possible.”
Alysa Moore, Learning Garden Director for the Captain Planet Foundation added, “You have done an amazing job with your garden. It’s so important for school gardens to have a strong champion at the school. We are so grateful to Cindy Gibbs for making it happen at Cherrydale.”
"We were thrilled to partner with Ingles Markets to bring the Learning Garden to Cherrydale Elementary. At Dole, nutrition education is imbedded in our company and we know the children at the school are well on their way to healthy eating through their garden", stated Marty Ordman, Communications Director, Dole Packaged Foods.