Virginia Agriculture in the Classroom is a program that promotes the education of agriculture to children and youth. Walsingham currently utilizes the program’s lessons throughout different grade levels in the Lower School.
Walsingham’s Lower School Science Coordinator, Kim Ward, said that students in Walsingham’s Early Learner Program (Pre-K3) have begun investigating plants.
As the students transition through the Lower School, the activities have become more complex, incorporating STEM lessons, greenhouse activities, and Learning Garden studies.
Activities have included farm-to-table taste-testing lessons, designing and installing a rain garden and installing a Monarch Waystation, pollinator garden beds and a bluebird monitoring station in their Lower School Learning Garden.
“Despite our efforts to help students explore these essential topics, our Learning Garden has been missing a major component – a raised gardening area outside of the controlled environment of the school’s greenhouse,” Ward said.
Ward said that she applied for grants to help fund projects for their growing science program.
“Upon investigation of the Virginia Agriculture in the Classroom’s grant, I knew it would be a great way to help us kick start the expansion of our Learning Garden,” Ward said. “This grant will afford us the opportunity to purchase two weather-proof raised garden beds which have a greater life span than the traditional wooden boxes.”
Ward said that in the future, they hope to install additional raised garden beds, walking trails and additional pollinator beds in the Learning Garden.
Walsingham Academy is the only school in Williamsburg-James City County to receive the grant.