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The Back-To-School Fatherly Fund Winner Is Building A Garden-Based Learning Lab

About a month ago, along with our partners at Yahoo Parenting and Common Sense Media, we announced the Back To School Fatherly Fund — a $1,000 grant for a project aimed at improving the educational experience of a school community. Dozens of applicants were whittled down to a final 5, and then the people spoke through an online vote. And, apparently, you all want vegetables.

Fatherly is proud to announce Anna Kirk of Columbus, Ohio’s Gahanna Christian Academy as the recipient of the Back To School grant. Kirk is a green-thumbed science teacher who knows that, when you add a garden to school, science test scores improve. She also knows that building, maintaining, and harvesting a garden teaches invaluable life skills around collaboration, healthy eating habits, and community service. So, Gahanna Christian Academy is about to have it’s very own garden.

Being the enterprising teacher that she is, Kirk has a full year’s worth of coursework planned — from the building of the boxes to the planting of the seeds to maintaining their growth to the 2016 fall harvest. And, since the garden boxes that the kids will build aren’t going anywhere, this is an educational resource that will be available to GCA teachers for years to come.

“Many of our children come from areas in our city that cannot support a backyard garden, nor does their home life allow for the experience,” Kirk wrote in her proposal. “Our goal at GCA is to give our students an opportunity to explore the out of doors and collaborate in all subject areas through an outdoor learning lab.”

Congratulations, Anna. This bud’s for you. And so are next spring’s.