Fairborn Digital Academy (FDA) is proud to announce they have partnered with the Ohio State Extension Office of Greene County to create a first of its kind Apprentice Master Gardener class (AMG). FDA students have the opportunity to earn 0.5 high school credits upon completion of the class. In order to participate, the student must be a junior, agree to attend class each Tuesday and Thursday during the school year, and come in once a week during the summer to maintain the garden. They have also agreed to assist in teaching their classmates what they have learned next school year.
“Attendance is extremely important because this is a hands-on class and cannot be made up. It also teaches us to make a commitment to others and to follow through,” says Aaron Page, a Junior, and AMG participant.
“This class is so much more than just gardening. It is a life skills class. They are learning gardening skills, including how to build raised beds, the importance of soil testing, crop rotation, and insect identification. These students are also learning valuable life skills, such as how to work as a team toward a goal, problem solving, leadership, and, most importantly, the value of a hard day’s work,” says Principal Erik Tritsch
“I am extremely proud to be a part of Fairborn Digital Academy because our school is giving us this incredible opportunity to learn a skill we can use forever,” says Junior Caitlin Kavanaugh. “Not only are we learning how to grow food, but we are taking pride in ourselves and learning real life math skills, nutrition skills, how to be responsible, how to contribute and give back to society, and how to lead by example.”
Next spring the AMG class will attempt to reclaim the Black Lane Prairie, which is located next to the school along the B-W Greenway. The Black Lane Prairie was the first Greene County WILD School Site , established in 2003. Lately, non-native species have started to encroach on the prairie. The AMG class would like to restore the land to its original state and plant native species to attract pollinators to the region.
School Pride Officer and class supervisor, Shari Little says, “The support and generosity of our community has made this class possible. Local businesses and private citizens have been amazing with their financial support, however, we still need many things to make this class even more successful. We started the year with a fundraising goal of $10,000 to cover the cost of materials, tools, and transportation. So far we have received less than a quarter of that. A few things on our wishlist include: wheelbarrows, shovels, gloves, rakes, fencing, and tomato cages. Basically, we need it all. Like our plants, we are starting from seed.”
If you would like to make a donation to this class and our students, just give us a call at (937) 879-0511. Donations are tax deductible. We post updates of our progress on our FaceBook page. With our community’s support, we are doing great things at Fairborn Digital Academy. Like us on FaceBook, and watch us grow!