A local school for special education, complete with an on-campus farm, is helping kids grow with opportunities they would not get anywhere else. The North Florida School of Special Education is a nonprofit which teaches nearly 200 children with intellectual and developmental differences. It is located near Atlantic and Southside boulevards, a stone’s throw from the Regency Square Mall.
Many of its graduates now work there, assisting with the programs and encouraging students to achieve. The school is gaining notoriety for its farm, where students organically grow fruits, vegetables, and even fish.
Farm manager Jordan Williams showed how they use fish to fertilize in the greenhouse. “We’ve got two tanks of tilapia,” Williams said. “They basically use the restroom in the water, we filter out the water of all solids and then we use the water to supply nutrients for our plants.”
“The students are involved in the whole process,” he said. “They’re learning about sustainability and responsibility. Just learning how to use the foods that they’re growing.” From farm to table, the students deliver their harvest straight to the kitchen at the schoolhouse across campus.
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