Grant will help Millbridge implement Discovery Garden

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Millbridge Elementary School will be awarded a $60,000 state grant by the North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund Commission’s “Fit Community” Initiative.
This state grant will be allocated over the course of two years and will be used to put into action a “Discovery Garden” at the school, which has been in the planning stages during the past school year. Plans call for the garden to have an outdoor classroom, including an outside kitchen, a garden that would include vegetables and flowers and pathways that would be implemented to benefit the students both academically and nutritionally.
Students will be able to “get their hands dirty” as they learn about the process of planting, harvesting and, most of all, eating healthy foods. The curriculum focus is the “Food For Thought Integrated Nutrition Curriculum” developed by the North Carolina Nutrition Education and Training Program.
The ultimate vision for the Millbridge Discovery Garden is that the “hands-on” garden experience will carry over into the daily habits of students and help to improve their quality of life.
Many community partners have donated their time and materials to this project. The Millbridge Discovery Garden partnerships include: Rowan County Cooperative Extension Services (Darrell Blackwelder); Rowan County Master Gardener Volunteers; N.C. State University Department of Horticultural Science (Liz Driscoll); Patterson Farms Inc. (Doug and Michelle Patterson); Future Farmers of America/West Rowan High School (Jason Chester);
Rowan County Health Department (Amy Smith); North Carolina Farm Bureau; North Carolina Research Campus; Rowan County YMCA (South Branch); Rowan County Library (South Branch); Rowan-Salisbury Schools Child Nutrition Department (Libby Post); and Andrew Beck, Boy Scout Eagle Project.
Steven Brown of Beagle Club Art donated the Discovery Garden plans. Miller Davis Studios donated the Millbridge Discovery Garden Sign displayed in front of the school, and Rowan County Master Gardeners donated a rain barrel.
“These great partnerships have all enhanced, and will continue to enhance our academics at Millbridge through the next two years, and hopefully for years to come,” said Millbridge Principal David Miller. “Hands-on learning is a must for our students, and what better way to promote a hands-on approach than this.”
The Millbridge Discovery Garden Grant Committee led by Millbridge Elementary Assistant Principal Dr. Angela Lingle-Linder consists of the following members: Jeanna Gregory, April Weaver, Darrell Blackwelder, Michelle Patterson, Cindy Martin, Amy Smith and Liz Driscoll.
For more information, contact Millbridge Elementary School at 704-855-5591 or log onto the N.C. Health and Wellness Trust Fund Commission Web site at www.healthwellnc.com.

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