Behind Headland Middle School are two tunnel houses.Those houses are serving as classrooms for nearly 400 science students. Inside, the students are putting what they learned in their science books to the test. They're participating in a state pilot program, where they learn to grow their own food. Tuesday the students planted collards, red lettuce, and broccoli in an effort to get the students to start making healthier food choices.TeaNia Baker enjoyed the hands on science lesson. “It helps me learn more because I'm actually doing it and it's not just someone teaching me how to do it.”
Principal Kevin Sanders said that’s one of the goals of the program. He wants the students to apply what they learn in the classroom to the real world. "When I'm sitting in a class and you can't show me where I can use this in my life, why do I need to know it? They're learning in the classroom and now they're seeing how it works in their everyday life," explained Sanders.
The tunnel houses were built back in June with funds from the state's Resources, Conservation and Development budget. The money also paid for the books to teach the Junior Master Gardener Curriculum. State Representative Dexter Grimsley was on hand for the program's launch."It's very important that we teach our young people that agriculture is indeed an opportunity have a career and do well in it,” said Grimsley.
The long term goal for the program is to get it in every school in the state. In the meantime they're working to expand the project to Abbeville High School. There's already a similar program at Geneva County Elementary.