Enka Community School Garden
The garden program at Enka Middle School is a part of the Enka Community School Initiative, a collaborative effort of United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County’s Middle School Success Initiative, Hands On Asheville-Buncombe, Enka Middle School, and the YMCA of western North Carolina. The goal of this initiative is to strengthen community support for Enka Middle students and families through a variety of skill-building classes and family-friendly activities, afterschool clubs, and volunteer opportunities that support student success. Last year, students from Enka Community School’s Make a Difference Club installed two raised garden beds and planted a variety of vegetables. This year, the Enka Community School Initiative seeks to expand the existing garden and create two additional learning gardens, including a Five Senses Garden and a Native Fruit Garden.
Primary goals for the Enka Community School Garden are: to alleviate food insecurity, support student success, and increase community involvement. About 61 % of students at Enka Middle qualify for free and reduced lunch. The garden addresses issues of food insecurity, health, and hunger in this under-resourced, rural Appalachian community. To support student success, the garden helps motivate students in afterschool enrichment, promotes youth leadership, enhances classroom and experiential learning, increases physical activity, and engages parent and community volunteers in school. The more community involvement a school has the more successful are its students. Community members will have opportunities to volunteer in the garden, beautify the school, and have access to the produce grown in the garden.
Last year 60 students, teachers, families, and community members of Enka Middle School benefitted from the Enka Community School Garden. By expanding the garden we hope to increase the number of beneficiaries. More students will be engaged in hands on learning and more opportunities will be provided for parents and community members to volunteer.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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