Frenship ISD received the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education grant from the Monsanto Fund in the amount of $10,000. FISD was nominated by multiple local farmers for this very competitive grant in the spring.
As a result of the funding, a team of Frenship staff identified a new and exciting program called Tiger Gardeners that focuses on improving the understanding of agriculture concepts in elementary students.
“Grant opportunities like this are incredibly impactful for Frenship ISD,” said Keith Patrick, Director of Entrepreneurship & Innovation. “By integrating garden boxes, curriculum, and teacher stipends at our eight elementary schools, second graders will have an exciting hands-on tool as part of their science, math, and even language arts instruction. This grant was initiated by farmers in our community, they made it possible. Through their commitment to our students, we now have an opportunity to help our second graders gain a better understanding of agriculture and where it fits in our lives for years to come.”
A few facts about Tiger Gardeners include:
- Frenship has purchased the Literature in the Garden curriculum, part of the Junior Master Gardener program through Texas AgriLife Extension.
- Frenship High School construction program has built 16 raised garden beds which have been placed and filled with soil at each elementary campus.
- Frenship High School engineering program will construct PVC and plastic coverings for each box for fall growing.
- Second graders will utilize these gardens as instructional tools as part of their second grade science curriculum.
- Each campus will determine what to do with their crops (sell, donate, or other uses).
The local nominating farmers included Eric Caswell, Jerry Blair, Rocky Fred, Walt Hagood and Tatum Bessire. Since Grow Rural Education began in 2011, it has awarded more than $16 million to more than 900 school districts in rural communities across the United States.