Children’s Garden Grows Student Test Scores but Money Growing Short

PORT TOWNSEND — A grant that supports educational programs designed to develop children’s agrarian skills will expire at the end of the year, sending supporters scrambling for a way to continue its funding.

The Jefferson County School Garden and Compost Program created by the Jefferson County Department of Public Works and partially funded with a grant from the state Department of Ecology, will no longer be supported after Jan. 1.

It’s more than teaching kids how to use a hoe, its supporters say.

The program began in the spring of 2009 and now includes more than 500 participants, both students and staff. This includes every student in Port Townsend’s Grant Street Elementary School and all Quilcene students up to the seventh grade.

“Science scores have doubled since the program started,” said program coordinator Candice Cosler. “It is more than just learning how to grow things; we teach the cycle of nature.” read more…