Melvin Jones
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Grow It Know It


Middle school students are getting in touch with their green thumbs, as the Grow It, Know It program allows them to experience new activities and skills through gardening.

The GIKI program, which began about five years ago, supports farm to school programming in Clarke County and Barrow County schools. An Americorps VISTA — a network of national service programs that aim to improve lives and foster civic engagement — is placed in each school, and they work with teachers to allow students to experience and develop skills in sustainable agriculture and family and consumer science through activities, such as growing plants and caring for animals.


According to Barb Saunders, Agriculture Science Instructor at Burney-Harris-Lyons Middle School (BHL), the school  is excited to have the Classic City Lions Club provide the materials for the construction of new raised garden beds at the facility. The new beds will triple the available space for the students to plant, and eventually harvest produce. There are over 200 students enrolled in agriculture science classes at BHL, and they will benefit greatly from the opportunity to learn hands on experiences with the new resources. With limited available financial resources to schools,  the help of a Community partner like the Lions Club is a big help in insuring middle school students have the chance to enjoy the best possible educational experiences.


Developing new beds

Jim Warrner, Classic City Lions Club member and VISTA service worker at BHL, said "the students are offered opportunities to get involved on a larger level."

“It’s amazing when a child puts a seed in the ground, and four days later they see it come up. They can’t believe that they’ve done that,” Warrner said.

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HORT 2000 Students need to finish their hours by April 26th. If you would like to host some students, let me know and I will create a listing!

Interested in composting programming? There is a new crop of Master Composters looking for volunteer hours! They can provide programming or help with your bins!

Use this FORM to let us know what you need!
Congratulations to our School Garden Champion Award Winners!

The Athens School Garden Network is celebrating local schools, staff, teachers, and community members for their contributions to farm-to-school and garden-based learning in Athens-Clarke County.
The School Garden Champions award ceremony was held at the Athens Community Career Academy on Wednesday, April 3, 2019 at 4:30pm. Dinner was prepared and served by Chef Emmanuel Stone, students at the Athens Community Career Academy, and the Athens Land Trust’s Young Urban Farmers. Dinner featured Georgia grown beef and locally grown vegetables.
Farm-to-school programs engage K-12 students across the curriculum in hands-on, food and garden-based learning. The Clarke County School District (CCSD) has received statewide and national recognition for its farm-to-school programs, which have positively impacted our students and district as a whole. In 2018, CCSD received the state’s Platinum-level Golden Radish Award. It was named the state’s “Outstanding District” for farm-to-school in 2015.
The ACC School Garden Champions Awards is a local award ceremony to celebrate those who make farm-to-school and garden-based learning a success in Athens-Clarke County. This is the second year for these awards. Honorees are nominated by their peers and are individuals that have gone above and beyond to make garden-based learning a success at the school level.
Garden Champion Awardees 2019
Outstanding Elementary School Teacher: Leslie Johnson, Whit Davis Elementary
Outstanding Middle School Teacher: Jennifer Thomas, Clarke Middle School
Outstanding Middle School Teacher- Science: Ashley Na, Clarke Middle School
Outstanding Middle School Teacher- Ag Science: Barb Saunders, BHL
Outstanding Administrator – Middle: Tad MacMillan, Clarke Middle School
Outstanding Administrator- Elementary: Ellen Sabatini, Barrow Elementary
Outstanding Elementary School Student: Jacob Lightsey, Barnett Shoals Elementary
Outstanding Middle School Student: Adarian Tamarius Pope, Clarke Middle School
Outstanding Garden Champion - Volunteer: Tim Hulsey
Outstanding Garden Champions - School: Naomi Craver & Karen smith
Outstanding Garden Partner Organization: Grow It Know It
Outstanding Garden Volunteer: Jake Blaydes, Lunchbox Garden Project
Outstanding Volunteer Group: Classic City Lions club, BHL
Outstanding School: Clarke Middle School
Outstanding Parent Volunteers: Emily Tatum, Nunally Benzing, Julie Darnell, Chase Street Elementary
The Athens School Garden Network includes the Athens Community Career Academy, the Clarke County School District, Athens Land Trust, Keep Athens-Clarke County Beautiful, and Grow It Know It in partnership with Clarke County School District, UGA Public Service and Outreach, and UGA Extension
The School Garden Network can be accessed by calling KACCB at 706-613-3501 x309 or emailing stacy.smith@accgov.com.