$1,000 – Driggs Elementary School Parent-Teacher Organization
The 2022 Youth Philanthropy students were honored to fully fund a grant of $1000 to the Driggs Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization (DES PTO) for the purpose of providing field-trip educational program days that will help to initiate a farm and garden program at Driggs Elementary School.
DES is the last public K-3 elementary school in Teton Valley to have a school farm and garden program and on-site garden. The school has the most underserved K-3 youth in the district based on income and minority demographics. The DES PTO has made a concerted effort over the past three years to recruit parent volunteers and bring together partners to help start a school garden program. As a result, there is positive energy and momentum now for a farm and garden program. Implementing school field trips and educational days can help carry this support forward as the group works to secure assistance and funding for an on-site garden. Garden and farm-based education at DES will improve student-body quality of life, learning outcomes, and reach underserved and marginalized youth who otherwise may not have opportunities to participate in agriculture and food production. Moreover, all students could benefit from this enrichment program by making learning fun, applicable, and engaging. Additionally, numerous studies report the benefits of school garden programs such as higher test scores, healthier eating habits, and developing a connection to the food we eat. The Youth Philanthropists recognized the value of the field trip educational program days and the momentum they could create for a DES farm and garden program. Moreover, the students were pleased to know that the farm and garden program would include collaboration among project partners: DES, Mountain Roots Education, and the University of Idaho Extension as well as field trip sites at Winter Winds Farm, the Cosmic Apple Gardens, and the Teton Valley Community Garden at the Teton County Fair Grounds. The Youth Philanthropy students were confident that these collaborative partnerships will help to equip DES with a solid farm and garden foundation to bring the program to fruition.