District 4 is coordinating a community garden at Hillside Montessori School in Troup County this fiscal year.  The garden benefits the diverse community of learners (26) and their families.  The students will use the garden as a way to teach members of the community surrounding the school about healthy eating and sustainable environmental practices.  Students will coordinate their annual Earth Day Festival and invite their neighbors.  The garden will be the focal point of the festival.

The Junior Master Gardner curriculum developed by the University Cooperative Extension Network is being incorporated into the daily lessons to help educate students about gardening, improve interpersonal relationship skills, increase self-esteem and help develop a sense of ownership and responsibility.  The curriculum teaches a broad range of horticultural and environmental education topics including science process skills, observation, taking measurements and problem solving through both group and individual learning experiences.

West Georgia Technical College Culinary students (Newnan campus) provided a Healthy Snack activity in October 2015.  Students learned how to make a healthy ranch dip to eat with garden fresh vegetables.

Students have planted kale, lettuce, romaine, spinach, radishes, carrots, broccoli, strawberries, garlic, onions, cabbage and beets.  Students roasted kale chips for a healthy snack and made carrot pancakes at harvest time.