- AVON GROVE CHARTER SCHOOL
AGCS Micro-Farm Awarded $6,500 Farm to School Grant
Avon Grove Charter School awarded $6,500 grant to improve youth access to ag education and fresh, healthy foods
A $6,500 Farm to School Grant awarded to Avon Grove Charter School will provide experiential learning field trips to the school's Micro-Farm for all kindergarten through third-grade students.
“The ACGS Micro-Farm provides hands-on learning opportunities for students and allows them to build connections to agriculture, food, fibers, and natural resources. I always tell students that if you are interested in food, you should be interested in agriculture.” said Krista Lauterwald, agriculture teacher and Micro-Farm manager.
During the field trips, students will participate in interactive lessons to increase agriculture literacy and have the opportunity to learn about and interact with the school's Micro-Farm animals. All interactive learning activities are linked to the grade-level curriculum and align with state standards.
The AGCS Micro-Farm project was launched to preserve an element of Chester County's rich rural, agricultural heritage for the region's children. The Micro-Farm has five Shetland sheep, three Finn sheep, an Alpine goat, two alpacas, five Silver Appleyard ducks, three chickens (various breeds), two Lion's Mane rabbits, one Mini Lop rabbit, one Rex rabbit, and three honeybee hives.
In addition, the school will implement Harvest of the Month programming in the cafeteria. The Harvest of the Month Program will highlight seasonal local produce and include taste testing during lunch service.
AGCS was awarded this grant for the first time last year, and over 700 kindergarten through third graders and staff visited the farm last year.
Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced $1.5 million in awards to schools and ag education programs through the PA Farm Bill 2022-23 Farm to School and Agriculture and Youth Grant Programs.
Nearly $536,000 in Farm to School grants were awarded to improve access to healthy, local foods and increase agriculture education opportunities for children from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade.
"Young people are the future of Pennsylvania agriculture and their teachers, programs, field trips, and access to fresh foods frame their relationship with and understanding of ag," said Redding. "This $1.5 million will spark new interests in farming by connecting students to agriculture education, while also improving access to nutritious foods."