It’s been a blast running the Garden of the Tigers course, a subset of our Life Skills Through Plant Cultivation program, at Jones High School! Over a year ago, the school had a vacant greenhouse and uncultivated land. Through the collaboration of the ESE Department and Grow Orlando, Inc., the students have turned it into their very own Garden of the Tigers. The Garden of the Tigers consists of a living laboratory inside the Greenhouse, the Tomato Patch, Raised Beds, and Mr. Brook’s Grove. The progress has shown an enormous influence with our students and we look forward to the unlimited opportunities and life skill sets that will be cultivated from the The Garden of the Tigers!
When we first started this program at Jones High School there was nothing growing in the school’s greenhouse or on the surrounding land. Through the hard work and determination of our students, and with the leadership of our very own Alex Amicucci, the program has planted 15 fruit trees and raised the sunflowers you now see on campus from seedlings. The Garden of the Tigers also raised four raised bed vegetable gardens, one guerilla garden, a high yielding tomato patch, three herb gardens, and built a memorial for the late Mr. Brooks, who facilitated the previous agriculture program at Jones and unfortunately passed away earlier in the year.
Our students did this all while learning important personal development skills, such as work maturity, farm-ancial literacy, and self-respect to move them in the right direction for graduation. Select students also get the opportunity to participate in our Career Placement Program every Saturday morning, earning work placement credits towards graduation.
Through The Garden of the Tigers program we are able to expose kids to the world of healthy living, gain valuable life skills that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives, and offer basic financial literacy through G-BIS – Giving, Bills, Investments and Savings. We look forward to the continuing our mission to Grow Orlando from the inside, out!