Youth gardening education the focus of WVSU workshop

Contact: Brad Cochran
(304) 541-3301
March 27, 2013
Youth gardening education the focus of WVSU workshop
INSTITUTE, W.Va. – Kids will be encouraged to get their hands dirty at West Virginia State next Wednesday. Educating young people about gardening and sustainability is the focus of West Virginia State University (WVSU) Extension Service’s free Junior Master Gardener (JMG) training session Wednesday, April 3, from 9 a.m. until noon at the WVSU Aerospace Education Laboratory in Institute.

“JMG nurtures an interest in gardening and agriculture in kids at a young age,” said Melissa Stewart, WVSU extension specialist for Agriculture & Natural Resources. “It provides experience with the fundamentals of gardening, and introduces science, nature and even literature using fun, educational activities.”

JMG targets grades K-8 with a focus on health, nutrition, wildlife education, plant growth and development, and natural resources. Young gardeners learn by engaging in hands-on projects and activities.

“We’ve been working to adapt the program down to the preschool level, and I’ve also had success when working with elderly residents in our community gardens,” said Stewart, who also serves as the JMG coordinator for West Virginia. “This program is very versatile. Anyone who isn’t familiar with gardening concepts can learn from it.”

Elementary school teachers, after-school workers, home-school parents, community volunteers, youth groups or others who work with K-5 children are encouraged to attend.

Registration is required by contacting Brad Cochran at (304) 541-3301 or To learn more about the Junior Master Gardener program, visit

The Aerospace Education Laboratory is located at 213 Douglas Street in Institute.

West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multigenerational institution, located in Institute, WV. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
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