As the school year winds down, some students across South Carolina will receive gardening skills they can take with them into the summer.
Clemson Horticulture Agent Amy Dabbs told South Carolina Radio Network the School Gardening for South Carolina Educators is a horticulture-based training program “to bring school gardening, the technical skills, and curriculum to the teachers of South Carolina to help them grow school gardens that are successful.”
The Clemson online program is designed to help educators grow successful school gardens. It is part of a multi-agency, farm-to-school initiative, directed by the College of Charleston, aimed at improving academic and health outcomes among South Carolina children and opening the school nutrition market to local farmers.
Dabbs said the students can carry over what they learned to other aspects in their lives. “They can use an outdoor classroom throughout the school year. Then they can also parlay those into 4H Clubs, garden clubs, after-school activities and that sort of thing.”
Dabbs said she was approached by a graduate of the Extension’s online Master Gardener Training. Former Dorchester School District Two athletic director Bobby Behr asked about using a school farm at Ashley Ridge High School as a model for similar programs. She said Ashley Ridge was the first school in South Carolina to be Good Agriculture Practices (GAP)-certified.