Congratulations to Lauderhill 6-12 STEM-MED and Parkway Middle School for receiving the Florida Farm to School “Golden Shovel” Awards. Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam recently presented the inaugural awards for exceptional school gardens in the state. Lauderhill 6-12 and Parkway Middle are among 10 schools in the state recognized for their exceptional school gardens. Lauderhill 6-12 is the Best New School Garden winner, and Parkway Middle is the recipient of the Best Revitalized Garden award.
“School gardens create exceptional teaching and learning environments on our campuses that provide students with lifelong skills and experiences,” said Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert W. Runcie. “The gardens have become a community resource, and a great sense of pride and accomplishments for our students.”
“School gardens are a critical part of the Farm to School model, allowing students to connect with the growing process by planting, raising and harvesting healthy, fresh produce,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam. “Studies show children who are involved in growing their own food make healthier choices about what to eat and show improved academic performance.”
Schools that applied for the Golden Shovel Awards employed a host of gardening methods including raised bed, hydroponic, tower and more. Working in conjunction with agriculture and culinary departments, the middle and high schools cultivated produce, which were featured in student and teacher meals, donated to the community and taken home for the weekend. In the inaugural year for the awards, 100 applications were submitted from 23 counties.
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Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is the sixth largest public school system in the United States and the second largest in the state of Florida. BCPS is Florida’s first fully accredited school system since 1962. BCPS has over 260,000 students and approximately 175,000 adult students in 238 schools, centers and technical colleges, and 99 charter schools. BCPS serves a diverse student population. Students are from 204 different countries and speak 135 different languages. For more information about BCPS, visit browardschools.com
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