IDEA announces virtual after-school gardening program for students

IDEA Public Schools has begun an after-school Junior Master Gardener program for all students.

As an added bonus, students in grades third through eighth who successfully complete the program will be eligible to become a Certified Junior Master Gardener and receive a certificate at the end of the school year.

The program is an international youth gardening program offered through Texas A&M Agrilife Extension that engages children in hands-on group and individual learning experiences that provide a love of gardening, develop an appreciation for the environment, and cultivate the mind.

“We are trying to change food culture in the Rio Grande Valley,” says Hernan Colmenero, IDEA’s Child Nutrition Program Farm Manager. “We want students to think twice about the environment, where their food comes from, how it is grown, and why proper nutrition is essential to staying healthy for life. Since students are the next generation of consumers, we want our Junior Master Gardeners program to have lasting effects in our community.”

Classes will be hosted on Microsoft Teams each Wednesday from 4 to 6 p.m. Students will participate in online learning videos and activities that explore plant life cycles and are encouraged to get involved in exploring their world through fun activities that support personal pride, responsibility, and community involvement.