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Students at the Gordon Walters Primary School get involved in the Garden Project.


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Planting seeds of development


The Garden Project at the Gordon Walters Primary School will not only teach students the importance of growing and consuming healthy foods, it will also show them how to build sustainable life habits and includes a component that complements and reinforces the academic skills of reading and writing.

According to Youth Commissioner for Christ Church East 3, Andrea Titus, the Garden Project, which is a collaborative effort between the Youth Development Programme in the Ministry of Family, Culture, Sports & Youth and the Gordon Walters Primary School, with technical assistance from the Ministry of Agriculture, seeks amongst other things to help students learn more about the agriculture industry. The project is based on the principle that creating opportunities for young minds to explore new interests is the beginning of building sustainable life habits that can contribute meaningfully to their total development. This agricultural project will educate children about how to grow healthy food and about how to use what they grow for better nutrition.

“Twenty children between the ages of nine and ten will be chosen and shall work with the teacher responsible for the 4H Movement at the school – Corlis Weekes-Grazette – along with the representative form the Ministry of Agriculture,” Titus said. “The ‘Garden Project’ will be held every Friday and will conclude on March 18th. Topics to be covered include basic plant care, plant nutrition, plant protection, soil management, and the benefits of agriculture to Barbados. There will also be an essay competition. The participants will also be involved in Agrofest this year and there will be an open day for you to showcase your produce to the public,” said the Youth Commissioner.

The ‘Garden Project’ is expected to teach the students numerous skills and will also reinforce the academic skills of reading and writing. Having a garden at the school can be a powerful tool, incorporating general science, mathematics, and health science.

Beyond the growth of produce and harvesting, the students will also be taught the economic side of agriculture. “Once you have grown your produce you will also be taught how to sell it as well. If our agriculture industry is to live on we need to teach and get these young people educated and motivated from a very young age. Once we have captured their interest they can go on to make a meaningful contribution to the industry. Some may even own their own agriculture business” explained Titus.

The ‘Garden Project’ with its tools and training can place the future of agriculture in the hands of innovative energised youth who can give it the footing it requires. Titus said “The Youth Development Programme is committed to ensuring the quality of life of our children; our Nation’s future. Today is an indication of the commitment.” Being involved in this project can make a difference in your life Titus confessed to the students. This agriculture project is a vehicle being used for highlighting the value of agriculture in the lives of the students and to encourage them to make good healthy food choices.

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