“How Does Your Garden Grow”
Three hundred preschool students at Woodlawn Learning Center participated in the Community Garden Project “How Does Your Garden Grow?” The project was funded by a $500 mini-grant provided by South Centre Corridors RC&D Council for the third consecutive year. Preschool teachers and students started planting their garden towards the end of March. Students listened to stories about books on vegetable and flower gardening from school teachers, and the Virginia State University Cooperative Extension Program provided assistance by speaking with the preschoolers about how nutritious and healthy the vegetables are that were grown in the garden.
The students planted corn, tomatoes, dill, cantaloupe, carrots, peppers, lima beans, peas, squash, melons, cucumbers, cabbage, strawberries, lettuce, watermelons, and pumpkins. They also planted flowers: zinnias, dianthrus, sunflower, marigold, and petunia. The students harvested the lettuce and used it to make individual salads to eat at school. The project continued through the summer with vegetable harvesting as the students enrolled in the Summer Program gathered vegetables and participated in cooking activities. Virginia State University donated a 8' X 20" cellugro garden unit and soil (valued at $1,200) to enhance the school’s gardening project. Grant funds were used to purchase seeds, potting soil, sprinkler, and other materials. Thirty parents also volunteered a total of 240 hours to participate in the project with their children and develop the garden.
Woodlawn Learning Center was awarded the 2010 Outstanding RC&D Project with Youth Involvement in Virginia and the Southeastern RC&D Region.