POPLARVILLE – A $2,500 grant from the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation will give students at the Poplarville Career Development Center a hands-on garden project.
Students in all five programs at the center will be involved in the project which will branch out far beyond the actual garden.
In addition to planting the raised-bed garden, tending it and harvesting the vegetables, students will design a brochure explaining the health benefits, produce a documentary video, develop an advertising campaign to publicize a healthy lifestyle as well as plan menus, adapt recipes and prepare meals using the produce.
“The concept of students learning to grow their own vegetables in a small space teaches them how to have a healthy, sustainable diet,” said Ann Bosworth, Career Center grant coordinator. “Utilizing those vegetables in various recipes provides an even broader knowledge base of health eating.”
The project will involve students in all five of the center’s programs – AEST (agriculture, environmental, science and technology), health science, digital media technology, marketing and culinary arts.
&“This foundation grant to the Poplarville School District ‘Garden Project’ will teach students to grow gardens, an art that was common in earlier times,” said Sid Whitley, chief executive officer of the foundation. “The benefits of this project are to make students familiar with the ease of growing ‘homegrown’ vegetables, to teach them the value of such food items and to encourage healthier eating habits. It is anticipated that   participating students will grow gardens on their own in the future.”
The gardens beds, compost bins and gardening tools will be maintained and used for several years as will the Chrome books and software the grant is funding, Bosworth said. Sales of the produce will help with the expenses of replanting and maintaining future gardens.

Photo caption:
Sid Whitley, seated center, presents a grant from the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation to Ann Bosworth for a career education garden project at the Poplarville Career Development Center. With them are Poplarville school superintendent Carl Merritt, seated; and standing, foundation president Clyde Dease and Dr. Marlene Cole, Career Center administrator.