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This garden will receive 8 raised beds, placed into the orchard garden. We will teach students to build the raised beds, install drip irrigation, seed crops. Students will learn to compost as we install a compost bin, cultivate the crops and the fruit trees. Students will learn abut water schedule, thinning seedlings, grow harvest to prepare a wholesome meal.
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Activities will begin once teachers return to school the end of July. Students will come to school and help with the harvesting prior to the beginning of the school year in mid August. Students will prepare the soil for weeding, hoeing and replanting. Once school starts students and teachers sign up of class graden time to go out to help work in the garden. When our families come to school, community members and school district employees come to our school they will be taken on a garden tour by the student and class who are in charge of the garden at the time of the visit. This project will enable all of our students and teachers to have a vested interest in the outcome of our garden, the produce, protecting its beauty and securing students will have access to eat the produce from our garden.
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We are located on a USDA research facility (although no funding for this project is from them), and have a lot of space to expand our bee program and project. Our high school students are interested in creating a program and a traveling trunk for younger students to learn about bees. We know that the population of honey bees is decreasing all of the time. Since we are a STEM center with programming for school age children and community stakeholders, we are going to develop kid-friendly information to help maintain and increase the bee population in our area. We have researched the type of foliage we need to plant, the equipment needed for our project, signage we need around the property, safety precautions, and citizen science activities about bees. Our students will be completing all of these research topics and putting them into action.
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I and my group will participate in the Walk MS. Get to know people with MS and without. Let other know about support and tell them we will be there to help out. Listening ear, words of encouragement.
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Our goal is to motivate and inspire change, with the hopes that the initiatives introduced will multiply and spread throughout our community, state and WORLD!
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My program will hand out information to people in the surrounding areas about healthy living and try to motivate them to be more active thru daily life changes , and have a class on How to be a better you.
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We hope to buy signage for the garden, decorate our garden and help to buy new plants for the Winter months.
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Our project tackles a wide variety of issues found in our community, so there is a variety of ways we can measure our impact. First, once the produce we grow is ready to be harvested and given to either the students to take home for their parents to cook with or given to the cafeteria to use in the school lunch for the day , that is an obvious indication that the garden beds and the effort to provide organic, nutritious produce to kids living in "food deserts" was successful. Furthermore, after we work with teachers and faculty at the schools/centers to develop environmental educational lesson plans to teach to the students, we can tell by the students reactions to learning new material how excited they are to have this opportunity. Additionally, the garden beds and tending to them are a good form of therapy for the students who live in harmful environmental exposures, such as air pollution, which often occurs in communities facing SES stressors including deteriorating housing, poor access to health care, high unemployment, crime, and poverty, which may exacerbate negative health effects. Once the students are each given a seedling to plant, and are given the responsibility to take care of it and watch it develop into life, it really benefits the students. Also, once we install the garden beds, we plant milkweed (which is the main food source for monarch butterflies) which instantly attracts monarch butterflies, which almost instantly brightens the entire mood of the campus as well as beautifies it by providing lush pre-sprouted seedlings. Another indicator we use to measure the impact our project has made is when we see the relationship and bonds develop between the volunteers and the students that we bring ht garden beds to. Over time, the students open up to the volunteers and work side by side on the garden bed, not only gaining a hands-on science experiment but also developing a sense of having a role model and someone to look up to. We will collaborate by reaching out to under-served elementary schools and at-risk youth centers in the surrounding community to bring the community together, to unify us through the power of obtaining knowledge. We will also reach out to UF students on campus for those who are interested in volunteering on the garden beds and engaging with the students at these schools/ at-risk youth centers. We will show courage by not allowing the socio-economic cleavages in our community put the under-served students at a disadvantage. We will rise past the deep rooted social-scturture to connect and engage our community to close that gap. We will show courage by not giving up on our mission even if a school or youth center is unable to take on the garden beds and declines our offer, which is the biggest challenge we face. But its okay, we expect this because our goal is to reach out to struggling facilities that need the help. We will increase our compassion by reaching out to more elementary schools and at risk youth centers to make an impact as many students as we can, because we believe they deserve the same opportunities as every other student despite their socio-economic status. We will increase our passion by attempting to the engage the community as much as possible, wether it be from reaching out to more students who could potentially be interested as volunteers, or reaching out to more than just elementary schools but hopefully middle and high schools as well. We will continue to expand and make a difference to the best of our abilities.
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Our reading cart travels around to various classrooms. This project will provide the funds to purchase healthy snacks to place on the cart as it travels throughout the school. Students will be able to snack on fruits and vegetables while reading their favorite books thus nourishing their minds and bodies.
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I want people to understand how air quality affects the overall well being of people. Three of my siblings that all grew up in the same neighborhood got asthma and I believe that there is a correlation between air quality and rates of respiratory diseases/ infections.

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