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Riverwood International Charter School Receives $2,000 Garden Grant from Whole Kids Foundation

From over 1,300 applications, Riverwood International Charter School was chosen as one of only 600 recipients of a $2,000 grant from the Whole Kids Foundation Garden Grant Program. The school will use the funds to support their outdoor classroom and garden program, replacing a garden which closed in 2015 due to construction of the school’s new facilities. In addition to the funding, the school received a package of garden starter items including seeds from High Mowing Organics, a Honey Bee curriculum, and a Garden Resource Guide.    

This is the second major grant secured this year by the Riverwood Foundation for the outdoor space. The Whole Kids grant, combined with an earlier $5,000 donation from the Lowe’s Toolbox for Education program, provides an impressive beginning to the garden. The garden will benefit a cross-section of programs and students from Environmental Science, Engineering, and Culinary Arts classes, as well as the community at large. The outdoor garden and classroom plan includes raised beds, retaining walls, a small orchard, a pollinator garden, herbs and annuals, a composting area, a walking path, and areas for small group discussions and collaboration.

Science Department Chair Patti Lawrimore said, “This project is the consummate opportunity to bring a diverse group of students together to learn important STEM lessons with real-world applications, while also benefiting the school and greater Sandy Springs community. Riverwood is unique in its ability to include and challenge students from a broad range of ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds.”  Added Culinary Arts Chef Elissa Oliver, “This is an amazing opportunity for students to understand where their food comes from and how to prepare it in a healthy and tasty manner. We are so lucky to have them support of our community as we venture into collaborative and inquiry based education.”

Principal Chuck Gardner added, “We are excited about providing our students with real world learning opportunities. Making the connection to where food comes from provides valuable, life-long lessons. We thank the Whole Kids Foundation for generously supporting this project.”

The Garden Grant Program, created in partnership with FoodCorps, helps schools and organizations connect students to real food through gardening. Whole Kids Foundation programs give school children in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. better access to fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as educational opportunities to learn about where their food comes from. “We were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm for the Garden Grant Program,” says Nona Evans, executive director of Whole Kids Foundation. “It is so inspiring to see the diversity and creativity in the types of gardens that will be planted across the country and the interaction between kids and their communities.”


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