The UA Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility has provided Druid City Garden Project with a full-time fellow for the 2014-15 school year.
DCGP is a non-profit organization that operates school gardens in the Tuscaloosa area and leads classes in six schools. Each year, more than 1,000 children learn about healthy eating, community gardening and sustainability through weekly, garden-based lessons that connect classroom activities to the real world and meet Alabama’s Course of Study guidelines.
The Let’s Grow! fellow works with DCGP’s education coordinator to implement lessons in schools. The fellow helps evaluate programs, build school buy-in to the garden program, organize school-wide events, facilitate a student-run farm stand and much more. Additional information about the Let’s Grow Fellowship can be found here.
The University of Alabama contributes to DCGP in other ways as well. UA students have assisted DCGP through multiple service-learning courses since the organization’s inception in 2010. In the spring and summer of 2014, 68 UA students dedicated 2,369 hours of service to DCGP through six classes or student groups (NEW 226 Organic Farming I, Organic Farming II, UH 120 Let’s Grow!, APR 332 Public Relations Writing, NHM 485 Supervised Practice in Dietetics Management and Communications and Student Engineers in Action). Students facilitated and led hands-on garden lessons for elementary students. They applied classroom learning about organic farming techniques to expand a school garden, build a vermicompost system and install heating and cooling elements for a greenhouse. They used architectural plans to build a beautiful, free-standing, produce-packing shed, and they assisted in public-relations efforts by preparing press releases, social-media campaigns and graphic designs for production. Students also created a seasonal, nutritious and affordable recipe book that encapsulates the healthy and seasonal lifestyle that DCGP promotes.
Read more about service learning through DCGP in the Service-Learning magazine.
For more information on service-learning classes offered by DCGP, visit www.druidcitygardenproject.org.