Thirty-five schools in 17 counties have been awarded 2020 Seedlings for Schools (SFS) grants. The grants, provided by the Florida Wildflower Foundation with funds from the State Wildflower specialty license plate, give pre-K to high school teachers wildflower plants, personal gardening guidance and online teaching resources. Teachers are expected to receive plants in September, when schools are expected to reopen in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
School gardens vary from wood “grow” boxes to small in-ground garden sites outside classrooms, beside school vegetable gardens, or in nearby school courtyards. They provide many students’ first planting experiences as well as opportunities to witness plant life cycles and insect interactions while learning about Florida ecology.
Additionally, the Foundation’s Wild About Wildflowers! Activity Guide has helped teachers use the gardens to achieve Florida State Standards in language arts, math and science. SFS Grant Administrator Claudia Larsen also emphasized that gardens create opportunities for social interaction between students and are sometimes therapeutic outlets.
“Our past surveys show that teachers are continually finding innovative ways to meet their students’ educational needs and they are excited to provide outdoor hands-on opportunities,” Larsen said. “Thanks to parent volunteers, Master Gardeners, and members of the Florida Wildflower Foundation, Florida Native Plant Society and local garden clubs, these gardens are becoming a permanent part of each school and are maintained year-round.”
In order to qualify for Seedlings for Schools grants, teachers must have a dedicated garden area, provide garden photos, and complete an online survey about their grant experience.
“We hope Seedlings for Schools grant participation will instill of love of native Florida plants to students of all ages and inspire them to be environmental stewards of their future,” Larsen said.
2020 Seedlings for Schools Grant Awards
|Bay||J.R. Arnold High School||Panama City|
|Brevard||St. Teresa Catholic School||Titusville|
|Brevard||R.L. Stevenson School of the Arts||Merritt Island|
|Brevard||Bilingual Montessori Academy||Rockledge|
|Broward||South Plantation High School||Plantation|
|Broward||Parkway Christian School||Davie|
|Clay||Montclair Academy||Orange Park|
|Duval||The Foundation Academy||Jacksonville|
|Hillsborough||Williams Middle Magnet||Tampa|
|Hillsborough||Warren Hope Dawson Elementary||Riverview|
|Hillsborough||Pierce Middle School||Tampa|
|Indian River||Pelican Island Elementary||Sebastian|
|Lake||Round Lake Academy||Leesburg|
|Lake||Imagine South Lake Charter School||Clermont|
|Miami-Dade||Advanced Achievers Academy||Florida City|
|Orange||UCP East Orange Elementary||Orlando|
|Orange||Lockhart Middle School||Orlando|
|Palm Beach||Gove Elementary||Belle Glade|
|Palm Beach||Connections Education Academy||West Palm Beach|
|Palm Beach||Boca Raton Elementary||Boca Raton|
|Palm Beach||A.D. Henderson University School||Deerfield Beach|
|Palm Beach||Crossroads Academy||Belle Glade|
|Palm Beach||Greenacres Elementary||Greenacres|
|Palm Beach||U.B. Kinsey/Palmview Elementary||West Palm Beach|
|Polk||Lewis Anna Woodbury Elementary||Fort Meade|
|Sarasota||Agape Christian School||Sarasota|
|Sarasota||Cranberry Elementary||North Port|
|Volusia||Creekside Middle School||Port Orange|
|Volusia||R.J. Longstreet Elementary||Daytona Beach|
|Walton||Mossy Head Elementary||Mossy Head|