Boynton Beach High School's Garden and Green School Program
Organized by: Suzanne Williamson
Boynton Beach High School is currently in its second year of our gardening program (Tiger ACT – Agriculture & Conservation Team), which is focused on teaching students sustainable agriculture, healthy eating, and native gardening techniques while also helping our school become more beautiful and achieve Green School of Excellence status in its first year. We were able to accomplish a great deal with minimal funding, which speaks to the dedication of the students and teachers involved, including winning a FL Farm to School Golden Shovel Award for Best Use of Produce, winning a national Green in Action Award from the Green Education Foundation for our 1st annual Earth Day Festival, and receiving news publicity for the incredible work our kids have done. We want this program to become a long lasting gardening and agriculture program that will expand and continue to impact underserved students for years to come. In order to continue what we have started and expand with our green growing and healthy eating initiative, we need your help. Your contribution will directly impact low socioeconomic status, underserved youth at a Title 1 school. Funds raised will be use to acquire materials needed to raise edible crops in our raised bed garden as well as expand the garden to include hydroponics and aquaponics , which we hope to have installed and running by January 2016, a native educational children's butterfly garden in honor of our early childhood academy, creation of an outdoor classroom with ecologically friendly plants, and provide opportunities for our underserved students to engage in field experiences centered on ecology, conservation and agriculture. It is the goal of our expansion to offer underserved students a unique and state of the art sustainable agricultural education which will prepare them for a healthy life and career. The future of the program will include the opportunity for students to earn horticulture and landscaping certifications that will provide them with the qualifications to obtain employment in a growing Florida industry immediately after graduation. Boynton Beach High School is a Title 1 high poverty school, and the students in the gardening program represent the demographics of our school well. Many of these students have never been exposed to the variety of healthy fruits and vegetables that are essential to a healthy life, due to their low socioeconomic status. More than 70% of our students receive free or reduced lunch and are historically underserved. This innovative program seeks to remain focused on impacting our severely underserved population, rather than attempting to attract a higher status population. That focus comes with financial challenges due to the lack of parental contributions to the program. If you choose to donate to our garden and green school program, we will provide you with updates and pictures of how your funds are being used (if you choose to include your contact information) in addition to handwritten noted from students expressing the impact that your donation had on them.