SHAWNEE, Kan. — Applications are open for the fourth annual Learning Garden grant contest, sponsored by Price Chopper, Dole Packaged Foods and the Captain Planet Foundation.
Two elementary schools will win a Learning Garden or a garden expansion for schools that already have a garden.
The prize also comes with access to online-based garden lessons, a fully-equipped mobile cooking cart to demonstrate recipes and online professional development for teachers.
Shawanoe Elementary in the Shawnee Mission School District won the grant last year and was able to double the size of their existing garden.
"The love coming out, they love planting," Crystal Brower, kindergarten teacher and one of the garden coordinators said. "They love the whole process, watching them grow, harvesting."
The gardens provide the opportunity for students to take what they learn in the classroom — like the plant life cycle — and see it in action.
"It just gives them something to be excited about, but then it also gives them that life experience that they can go home and they can build a garden," Brower said.
Students take the lead in caring for the garden including watering, harvesting and replanting for the next season.
"It just feels like I like I accomplished something, and did something good," Doris, a sixth grader said.
The contest is open to any Kansas or Missouri elementary school within 10 miles of a Price Chopper store.
Schools interested in applying can do so here. The deadline is Oct. 8.