Sharon School Garden To Help Feed Community

Weakley County Farm Bureau Continues to Support Sharon School Garden
Posted on 06/01/2020
This is the image for the news article titled Weakley County Farm Bureau Continues to Support Sharon School GardenFor six years, Sharon School teacher Danielle VanCleave with the help of Weakley County Farm Bureau, has been able to plant the seeds for valuing agriculture in the minds of her second graders. Along with harvesting cucumbers, sweet potatoes and even eggplant, her students have turned to garden beds adjacent to the school’s playground to help uncover the secrets of the earth as well as mathematics, science, and reading.

This year VanCleave’s vision of the gardens feeding not only young minds but the members of the Sharon community is coming true. She has used the weeks of closure, the knowledge and workforce assistance of the Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network, plus the labors of family and friends to expand to four beds and is planting what will be a summer bounty of vegetables, herbs and even pumpkins. The Farm Bureau and Weakley County Farm Bureau Women are helping to make it all possible with financial contributions and offers of expertise.

Last week, VanCleave received an Ag in the Classroom Grant worth $250. Similar grants through the years have helped to sustain the beds as learning laboratories for the school. VanCleave also received a scholarship to attend a national Ag in the Classroom training workshop last year.

Since COVID-19 closure related meals distribution from Weakley County Schools will continue throughout the summer until classes resume in August, VanCleave hopes that the fresh vegetables will help to supplement the breakfasts and lunches. WCS feeding efforts have now exceeded 250,000 meals and have reached up to 2,000 students since the schools closed in mid-March.

"I am able to meet so many of my standards and skills using the garden. And now our classroom asset can become a blessing to the community," VanCleave said in her thanks to the Farm Bureau upon receipt of the check.

Others who have contributed greatly to the project include NTWLFN’s Ashley Kite-Rowland and Samantha Smith Goyret; community members Will Harris, Ali Kingsland Stalter and children Madison & Carson, Steve Douglas, and Nathan Rush; Sharon Appliance; and WCME.

Anyone interested in volunteering to help maintain the garden in June and July is invited to contact VanCleave at Danielle.Harris@wcsk12tn.net.


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check presentation
Last week, Danielle VanCleave, second grade teacher at Sharon School, received an Ag in the Classroom Grant worth $250. Similar grants through the years have helped to sustain the beds as learning laboratories for the school. VanCleave also received a scholarship to attend a national Ag in the Classroom training workshop last year. Pictured are Weakley County Farm Bureau President Ben Moore, Linda Fowler, President of Weakley County Farm Bureau Women, and VanCleave.

working in the garden
Maintaining the four beds of vegetables and herbs will be a community project throughout the summer. The harvest will be shared with the community as a supplement to Weakley County Schools’ summer meals program. Volunteers interested in helping to maintain the garden are encouraged to contact VanCleave.