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Press Releases

SAISD to announce $57,000 USDA grant award to all-girl primary school - advisory
SAISD to announce $57,000 USDA grant award to all-girl primary school 

Young Women’s Leadership Academy-Primary to use funds for its 1.5 acre community garden, created in collaboration with Gardopia Gardens, the City of San Antonio, and other organizations 

U.S. Congressman Joaquin Castro
Office of U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar
SAISD Trustee Art Valdez
SAISD Superintendent Jaime Aquino
YWLA Network Principal Delia McLerran
YWLA-Primary Principal Jennifer Elwood
Gardopia Gardens COO Dominic Dominquez

Aug. 8 (Mon) – 10 a.m.

YWLA-Primary, 401 Berkshire Ave., 78210

Garden tours, renderings and the sharing of a vision for a community garden will be highlights during San Antonio ISD’s announcement of a federal grant that will benefit the students at Young Women’s Leadership Academy-Primary. 

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service has selected SAISD’s YWLA-Primary to receive a Farm to School Turnkey Edible Gardens Grant. The total amount of the federal award is $57,404, which includes a cost-share grant from the San Antonio Area Foundation of $17,500. 

According to the USDA grant award letter, one of the reasons YWLA-Primary’s application stood out was because it demonstrated “strong experience and readiness to conduct farm to school initiatives.”

Last school year, YWLA-Primary students and staff broke ground on a 1.5 acre Smart Farm in collaboration with San Antonio nonprofit Gardopia Gardens, the City of San Antonio’s Office of Innovation and Parks and Recreation, San Antonio Sports, and Santikos Theater. The collaboration among various community organizations is intended to elevate farm to school strategies relating to each partner’s aligned mission of healthy, smart, and eco-conscious youth.

The YWLA-Primary Smart Farm is connected to the school’s garden-based learning program, which includes a half-acre garden in the school courtyard and a 1.5 acre farm located in Page Park. To date, the project already has led to the creation of organic vegetable beds, pollinator beds, trees, an irrigation system, an outdoor classroom, a small greenhouse, and emerging production fields. The project consists of three activities: garden education classes, healthy cooking classes, and garden/farm development.

During the celebratory announcement, SAISD and its community partners will share more information on the importance of the grant, the impact of outdoor learning experiences on students, and the significance of community partnerships. 

SAISD’s press conference follows USDA’s announcement that it awarded more than $10 million in Farm to School Grants to 123 projects across the country. This year’s competitive grants will serve more than 3 million children at more than 5,000 schools in 44 states and the District of Columbia, including SAISD’s YWLA-Primary.

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