The Portsmouth AgInnovation Farm, in partnership with the Eastern Rhode Island Conservation District (ERICD), announced Wednesday a grant in the amount of $10,000 from the Hamilton Family Charitable Trust (HFCT). The funding will support sustainable agriculture programming at the farm.
The Portsmouth AgInnovation Farm is a student-driven community farm education program where students problem solve during authentication learning and community collaboration, so that they become productive citizens in our community. It started in 2019 as an after-school program taught by Portsmouth Schools Science Coach, Margie Brennan. Brennan continues to spearhead the farm’s education programming, which has grown substantially since the farm started.
Brennan said, “This programming is critical for our students. Not only does it get them outside and learning science concepts in a hands-on way, it introduces them to agriculture as a career. Our hope is that some students will find their passion in farming and pursue it after they are out of school.”
The HFCT funds non-profit organizations that “offer educational programs with a data-driven record of success for improving academic performance – especially in reading and writing – and providing job-readiness skills.” They “fund programs that build literacy, workplace, and social-emotional skills to empower students to achieve academically as they prepare for meaningful careers.”
The farm is a partnership between ERICD and Portsmouth School District. Sara Churgin, ERICD District Manager said, “We are honored to be selected by the Hamilton Family Charitable Foundation for our innovative farm program. In addition to the after-school programming that started as the seed for the farm, we now offer a three-week summer program. We also partner with FabNewport, and these funds will help to spearhead that summer partnership.”
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