Since 2016, students at Forwood Elementary have been planting and harvesting fall and spring gardens as part of their science education and the school’s community outreach program. Some of the produce is enjoyed in the lunchroom, while any excess is donated to the Claymont Community Center’s Food Closet program.
This past fall, their gardening struck pay dirt. The North Wilmington school was chosen as one of 24 nationwide to take part in Sprouts Farmers Market’s “24 Gardens in 24 Hours in 24 Communities” program. Local Sprouts employees joined Forwood students, teachers and parents to help refurbish the gardens and construct a new outdoor classroom, with the grocery chain donating all the materials.
“Every student [in] every grade has a role,” says teacher and program lead Leona Williams. “We grow such vegetables as arugula, leaf lettuce, radishes, carrots and all sorts of herbs.”
Forwood principal Angela Williams, who worked with her local Sprouts store to obtain the grant, says students also partner with residents of the neighboring Forwood Manor retirement community.