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‘Let It Grow’ Programme Blooms in Schools across the Turks and Caicos Islands

Students are happy to be able to share items from the farm.

The Ministry of Education and Department of Agriculture’s comprehensive farming programme, ‘Let it Grow’, which saw the launch of the island’s first in-school hydroponics system at the Clement Howell High School earlier this year, has brought great success to the Turks and Caicos Curriculum Development Unit.

The ‘Let It Grow’ programme, supported by the Sandals Foundation, was designed to support the establishment of school farms at all public and private educational institutions, providing over 4,000 students and 110 teachers with the necessary skills and knowledge to foster the development of agriculture as an alternative career choice, while promoting entrepreneurship and sustainability within the community.

Now, at the close of its first year of execution, ‘Let It Grow’ has successfully established farms in fourteen (14) public and two (2) private schools, with each introducing clubs centered around farming concepts. To support the farming in schools programme, upgraded irrigation systems were also set up in eight (8) schools, with others benefiting from needed soil, fencing and other farming resources. The programme provides more hands-on experiences to students - reinforcing the three pillars of the Let It Grow programme - Sustainability, Entrepreneurship and Responsibility.

A smile with a head of lettuce from the ‘Let it Grow’.

Heidi Clarke, Executive Director at Sandals Foundation, expressed delight in the outcome of the programme which saw farming concepts being introduced to schools’ curriculum via guides, lessons, and project-based learning.

“The Let it Grow programme saw the systematic capacity building of students and teachers from all 14 of the island’s public schools where they learned to establish and maintain small farms. These schools have since set up gardens that enable students to grow their own vegetables and fruits, which not only promotes healthy eating habits, but also provides a sustainable source of food for the school. As the foundation zoned in on projects this year that support the region’s food security, we couldn’t ask for anything else.”

‘Let it Grow’ items from the farm.

Elisann Delancy, Curriculum Development Officer for the Turks and Caicos Islands Government Department of Education, says, “The Let It Grow Programme has made significant progress since implementing Phase 1. Positive results have been seen across the board, with feedback from students and teachers being overwhelmingly positive. The programme's impact has surpassed initial expectations, with students showing an increased interest in gardening and a deeper understanding of environmental issues.”

“The success of Phase 1 has raised hopes for future phases of the programme”, Delancy continued, “With continued support and investment, the Let It Grow Programme can expand its reach and impact, further promoting environmental awareness and sustainability in schools and communities. The programme has truly proven its worth, and its continued growth and success will undoubtedly benefit future generations.”



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