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Farm to School Initiatives at SJES

Students at South Jackson have multiple opportunities to make connections with what they are learning in the classroom to agriculture and healthy living with our SJES Learning Orchards and partnership with the FoodCorps.  

Our SJES Learning Orchards are an ongoing project led by our Gifted teacher, Mr. Thomas Wicox.  This is an ongoing project that involves learning from the care and propagation of fruit trees, which are located to the right of our main entrance.  Lessons focus on the math and science behind what is going on with our trees throughout the seasons.  Examples of lessons include: measuring and correcting branch angles, the volume of dirt and water needed at planting time, setting up the orchard in an array, estimating growth and fruit output, measuring ph and moisture levels in the soil, composting, and cloning new trees from pruned branches. 

Mr. Wilcox is passionate about this project and says, “I am a strong believer in the power of learning through real-world application and building community by working together. Getting students into the great outdoors to work with their hands and minds for a greater purpose is amazing. It hurts to see so many fruits and veggies going into the trashcan each day. Perhaps if the students see the amount of work and energy it took to provide them with such goods, they'd think twice before tossing things out.”

If you’d like to support this effort, donations are gladly accepted.  We are always looking for some used or unused plastic planting pots between 1 and 5 gallons as well as wood mulch and potting soil.  Please contact Mr. Wilcox at for more details.

In addition to the work with the SJES Learning Orchards, South Jackson is thrilled to partner with the FoodCorps whose mission is to connect kids to healthy food at school.  Ms. ILeta Redmond is our school partner and works with our students here at South Jackson.  Ms. Redmond collaborates with teachers and uses taste testing to assist teachers in teaching standards at each grade level.  Her goal is to sensitize kids to the benefits of farming as well as eating fresh fruits and veggies.  She hopes to help kids make good food choices and to live an overall healthy lifestyle.