The Southern Boone School Board seemed to support the idea of planting a few seeds and seeing if they could take over the cultivating of young minds in the Learning Garden.
Board members and five Learning Garden supporters along with a fourth grade teacher discussed the possibility during Friday’s SoBoCo school board retreat.
“This would be an outstanding commitment,” said one of the Learning Garden’s founders Jennifer Grabner, “it would be unprecedented, to make garden-based education” a part of the district’s curriculum “it doesn’t happen elsewhere in Missouri – maybe in the country. I’m very proud the district is considering this.”
However, as board members wanted to look at the financial commitment they would be considering, those on hand to support the Learning Garden were looking for commitments from the school district as well, in order to make the Learning Garden a sustaining part of K-5 education program at SoBoCo schools.
The Learning Garden, now in its 10th year of educating young students in an outdoors environment, has been operating on a grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health with an expense budget of about $95,000 per year. Those monies pay for two Americorps workers, Grabner’s administrative role, a garden manager, office space and other costs. Money raised by the Learning Garden’s community board is utilized to pay for materials and supplies.