By Joe Potter
Learning how to grow corn, okra, lettuce and rutabaga is exciting to youth at the Pasco Regional Juvenile Detention Center, according to teachers who revived the program last year.
The facility serves youth detained by the 6th Circuit Court awaiting adjudication, disposition or placement in a commitment facility.
Although much of Pasco County is rural, most of the juveniles held at the center have little or no knowledge of agriculture, said lead teacher Kevin S. Coggins.
The gardening program was revived during 2009 at the center after a hiatus of several years.
Once the vegetables are harvested they are served to the students and staff in the dining area at the 57-bed secure facility.
“They are excited when they see how something goes from a seed to a plant. They’re a little freaked out when they get to see what things look like in their raw form,” Coggins said.
In addition to growing food to eat, the students also learn watering and fertilizing techniques and other aspects of agriculture. Pasco County schools employ a team of four teachers, two instructional assistants and a part-time special education consult at the facility.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.