Friday, July 22

Graduation Ceremony Held for Experiential Learning Garden Program


Southern University and A&M College
Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center

Contact: Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714


Experiential Learning Garden Program Graduation Ceremony Held

Student, Siriah Rogers offers Chancellor Williams a cantaloupe
 BATON ROUGE, LA, 7/22/2011 - The SU Ag Center’s eight-week Experiential Learning Summer Gardening Project ended with a graduation celebration for participants on July 21. A total of 11 students, ranging in age from 6-18 years, graduated from the program. The ceremony was immediately followed by a tour of the garden, located behind the Horticultural Unit, adjacent to the SU Ag Center. Chancellor Leodrey Williams was out in the field celebrating with the students and their families. Youth showed their dedication by participating in the summer sun learning the essential elements of growing their own produce and healthy eating habits.

Youth are now more open to trying new foods, actually taking ownership because this was their project. Youth also learned about community service, leadership, communication skills, the importance of teamwork, and building new peer relationships.

Youth also spent time at the dairy unit, visiting local vegetable and poultry farms as part of their experience.

Participants’ parents and siblings joined them at the graduation ceremony where they received certificates of participation for their hard work and dedication. The youth enjoyed words of encouragement from Ag Center administrators. Dr. Gina Eubanks, Vice Chancellor for Extension, left a letter of encouragement to the graduates due to her unavoidable out of town official trip. In addition, youth were graced with kind words from Dr. Kirkland Mellad, Vice Chancellor for Research. Dr. Mellad and his team of research associates/researchers have been very instrumental in the success of this project.

The youth assisted with a heart healthy breakfast made with fresh veggies from their garden, which included zucchini nut muffins, butternut squash pancakes, fresh cantaloupe, and watermelons. They were excited to try new foods and are looking forward to sharing their experiences with their friends at school and to attending the program next summer!

The ceremony concluded with closing remarks from Tiffany Franklin, Project Coordinator and Stephanie Elwood, Extension Associate - Community Gardener.


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