James B. Edwards’ Horticulture program takes root and grows fun and unique educational results

Cool School

James B. Edwards School of Global leadership has a unique program that started as a small greenhouse project… and has now grown into a school-wide outdoor classroom.  We’re in Mount Pleasant for our Cool School of the week.

Digging in, getting their hands dirty, all while learning, all part of the Horticulture program at James B. Edwards School of Global Leadership.
Green Team sponsor and special needs teacher Nancy Platt says, “It’s so relevant in this day and age where technology is so dominant in children’s lives.  I think to just have a kid get out there and get dirty, get their hands in the soil.  We grow crops that we have healthy tastings. We we did kale pizza with kindergarten and CD last year.  It was amazing.”

The school broke ground on the Kenny Seamon Greenhouse  last summer.  “We have our from Seeds to Shoreline programs that we’ve been doing for five years now, that’s one of our big environmental programs.  We have our raised beds all surrounding the greenhouse.  We also supplement our backpack buddies program.  It’s not just the canned and packaged food that goes home every weekend.  Last week, we sent home half a head of cabbage, with fresh produce for families on free and reduced lunch,” says Platt.

Every class is involved in the program. Fourth-grade student Emily Butler says, “We are making super soil. We have eight parts coconut core. We have perlite, and that is volcano glass.  We have vermiculite, and we mix that all together and we have our super soil.  It is really fun. I love doing everything here.  It’s just a blast.  You learn how to get your hands messy, it’s just so much fun.”

Special needs students help tend to the jumbo beds.   Platt says, “It helps with kids that have sensory issues, that have emotional issues to just care for things, and nurture things, and watch them grow.  I’ve witnessed the kids when they’ve grown food that other wise would not eat anything green say wow this is pretty good.”

Parent and grandparent volunteers help teach the program.  Teaching students about sustainability.   Parent Kimberly Crane says, “It’s the Lowcountry Sustainability program, and we are doing our best to be sustainable.  We have our two plant sales a year, and funding the program and doing our Seeds to Shoreline program and oyster bagging.  We’re really proud of this program.”  Fifth-grade student Banyan Corriher says,  “It’s fun just helping out around the greenhouse, growing plants, getting to see what they produce, planting, making soil.  It’s just very interesting.”  Principal Robin Fountain says, “This is actually surpass my wildest dreams.  It’s a giant classroom.  Kids are able to actually come out and learn the skills they need to be a global leader, and make the world a better place.  They work on lower their carbon footprint,  recycling. We’re really intent on doing that work. “

The school will have their spring plant sale in April.  Money raised supports the horticulture program.  

Coming up Friday, we’ll present JBE with our Cool School award.

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