About Grow It Know It
Grow It Know It (GIKI) is an initiative of the Office of Service-Learning in partnership with area schools to grow solutions addressing food insecurity and food waste through project-based learning activities, particularly through school gardens, cafeteria composting/food recovery, agriscience, culinary arts, and more.
GIKI COVID-19 Emergency Operations in Athens-Clarke County
During the suspension of face-to-face instruction, the Clarke County School District has asked GIKI to manage gardens at Clarke and Hilsman Middle Schools to benefit the Athens-area community and has provided the following COVID-19 services:
- Since April, Grow It Know It AmeriCorps VISTAs have harvested 1,500 pounds of produce at the schools.
- GIKI distributes produce twice weekly to Covenant Presbyterian Church and the Shifa Clinic, serving some 70 families and 360 individuals.
- Produce from the school gardens is also being delivered to the East Athens Development Corporation’s bi-weekly food distribution.
- Produce is also distributed to Hallie Celestand and chef Hugh Acheson who deliver meals, non-perishables, and school garden produce to Athens communities including Clarke Gardens, Rocksprings, Parkview, Parkview Extension, Bethel Homes, Rolling Ridge and Broadacres.
- Produce from the schools has also been delivered to Peachtree Immediate Care staff who are conducting COVID-19 testing in the Clarke Middle School parking lot.
GIKI COVID-19 Emergency Operations in Barrow County
- GIKI has also continued to support the school gardens at Barrow County School System (BCSS)’s Center for Innovative Teaching and Apalachee High School, with produce going to school staff and students.
- Grow It Know It has created digital content, including on Instagram, for BCSS students and teachers as well as families educating their children at home.
Summer Educational Opportunities
To support summer learning, Grow It Know It has organized an online version of its Kitchen Garden Corps summer camp.
The Grow It Know It Approach
As a program of the University of Georgia Office of Service-Learning in partnership with UGArden and local schools in Clarke and Barrow Counties, Grow It Know It leverages resources, including a network of AmeriCorps VISTAs, to implement, sustain, and extend the projects of students, teachers, and staff that address food insecurity, food waste, and climate change. We believe schools are excellent innovation centers for addressing these big picture challenges on an everyday, community wide scale. School gardens support hands-on and deepened learning in key fields such as biology, agriculture, family and consumer sciences and history and extend the curriculum to real-life skills such as gardening, teamwork, marketing/communication, and culinary arts. GIKI’s gardening and nutritional programming is developed collaboratively with the principal, staff, students, and resources available at each school, but because there is a network, lessons learned are shared and become replicable.
Grow It Know It promotes and supports sustainability through food system projects, with year-round programming on school gardening, food recovery and waste reduction, agriscience, nutrition, and more, including the "Kitchen Garden Corps" summer camp activities. Since 2013, GIKI has been hosting volunteer events, collaborating on service-learning courses, and bringing people together in the school garden, school cafeteria, and the classroom. See more about GIKI's outcomes, awards, and recognitions here.