CHARLESTON, W.Va. — For youths participating in the Sustainable Community Revitalization in Appalachian Through Children’s Hands (SCRATCH) Project, learning doesn’t end once the bell rings at the end of the school day.
That’s when they get a different style of education — one that allows them to hunt bugs and get their hands in the dirt.
A grant-funded program, SCRATCH was established in 2011 through West Virginia State University Extension to teach children how to be successful “agripreneurs” in an after-school environment.
“Agripreneurs are a new breed of entrepreneurs that combine a love of farming with science, technology, math and engineering,” explained Scott Kline, SCRATCH’s sustainability coordinator.
SCRATCH utilizes the Junior Master Gardener curriculum, developed by Texas A&M University, to teach kids about sustainable gardening and growing techniques, healthy eating habits and food scarcity.
SCRATCH has three urban garden sites around Huntington where they plant a number of fruits and vegetables. “We’re hoping to expand the program in the next year or two,” Kline said.
One SCRATCH site, the Maudella Taylor Garden, is near the A.D. Lewis Community Center in Huntington and part of it was once a dilapidated building. The Huntington Urban Renewal Authority worked with SCRATCH to expand the site.
For more information on the SCRATCH Project, visit www.scratchproject.org.
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