Montcalm High School was the only school in West Virginia to win $25,000 in a program sponsored by State Farm Insurance. The company announced the 100 State Farm Neighborhood Assist winners nationwide on the 7th of June, with Montcalm’s greenhouse project one of the winners through online voting.
The company saw 4,000 cause submissions entered in February at www.neighborhoodassist.com. The State Farm Review Committee selected the Top 200 finalists, and public voting determined the Top 100.
Montcalm High teachers Amanda Feldes and Sarah Krondon submitted the grant application and their project, which is a greenhouse at the school that would allow students to grow edible plants year-round.
As part of the proposal, the teachers said students would learn to farm sustainably for their families, how to run a small business, and community members will circulate currency close to home rather than to national chain franchises. Students will gain valuable skills they can carry with them for a lifetime.
“We want to turn our hydroponics STEM (Science, Technology, Math, and Engineering) lessons into a real greenhouse project to be set up behind the school,” Krondon said. “The money from the grant would allow us to purchase the greenhouse. Students will learn how to sustain a garden as well as expand their palates. They will enjoy eating what they have grown as they learn how to take care of a garden, testing soil acidity and moisture.”
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