August 16, 2023 by HCDE Communications
This year, nearly 30 Academic and Behavior School West students with severe intellectual, developmental, and behavioral disorders will learn the importance of healthy lifestyles through the new Knights Kontainer Garden program. Funded by a $3,000 Whole Kids Foundation Garden Grant, the program will help students revitalize the school’s existing garden to grow a mixture of fruits and vegetables.
“This type of service learning will allow our students to manage a project from start to finish, and I know they will take pride in growing fresh produce. I look forward to seeing their personal growth as well,” said ABS West Principal Jatata Hutton. “I’ll be able to see the literal fruits of our students’ labor from my office window.”
Students will visit the green space twice weekly and share responsibilities such as watering and weeding the garden. The program is designed to increase students’ fine and gross motor skills by planting, digging, touching, and tasting food cultivated by their own hands.
As students nurture plants, they will learn to care for the environment while exploring science concepts like photosynthesis. Funding will be used to purchase tools, planting materials, curriculum materials, and soil.
The Whole Kids Foundation nonprofit is dedicated to helping schools turn outdoor spaces into hands-on learning centers that connect kids with food, spark their curiosity, and support classroom curriculum. Harris County Department of Education and ABS West are first-time Whole Kids Foundation Garden Grant recipients.
To learn more about HCDE Schools, visit hcde-texas.org/special-schools.