The SDAITC Garden Education Project Award Committee was busy the past couple months reviewing applications and making visits to the schools, who were chosen as finalists. We had 25 quality applications but had to narrow it down because of reduced funds due to Covid and other factors. Hopefully, we can award all the worthy applications in the future. Because of support from California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom, the membership of the San Diego County Farm Bureau, and others, we were able to give out significant awards to 12 schools:
- Mt. Everest Academy are expanding their outdoor garden classroom and adding fruit trees
- El Cajon Juvenile Ct School, serving students who work through adversity, learn agriculture
- Groundwork San Diego with 4 acres near Millennial Tech Middle School and feeder schools
- Vista Academy Foundation, Title 1 school serving +650 students learning about agriculture
- Twin Oaks High School, Multidisciplinary program working with Wood, Art, Science classes
- Horton Elementary School, a new garden program that has teacher/admin support and help from Leah’s Pantry
- Motivated Youth Academy located on the Campo Kumeyaay Reservation, A Charter School with huge support from many organizations including USDA, Coastal Roots, now us, SDAITC.
- Scripps Ranch High School, built their beautiful garden as a club with 25 motivated students
- Clairemont Canyons Academy, a wonderful program supported by staff, master gardeners.
- Conway School, Looking for a local artist to help their students paint a mural of their gardens which they will be upgrading with funds from SDAITC.
- San Diego High School Complex – starting new indoor and outdoor gardens for their Culinary Arts Program.
- Adobe Bluffs Elementary-They are moving forward with great progress
There are many organizations who help these schools accomplish their mission on site including Master Gardeners, Groundwork San Diego, Leah’s Pantry, Coastal Roots, The Sage Garden Project, California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom, and more. The teachers, staff, and parent volunteers we visited are amazing at promoting agriculture, gardens, nutrition, environmental sustainability, and everything important in food production while teaching kids, but they all need additional support. This year’s awards will benefit an estimated 5000 students across San Diego County.