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Newark middle school embraces agriculture with innovative educational program

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  • Staff Report 

Newark Middle School has replaced its traditional technology curriculum with a pioneering Agricultural Program, engaging students in practical and diverse learning experiences. During the first half of the school year, middle schoolers were actively involved in agricultural studies, a shift highlighted when Board of Education members received Spring Mix lettuce grown by students. The initiative aims to connect classroom activities with real-world agricultural applications and career readiness.

Educators Amy Molinari and Susan Yancey have integrated career-focused activities into daily classroom routines. Students “clock in and clock out” of class, mirroring workplace practices, and handle a form of classroom currency that teaches math skills and financial responsibility. Past projects have included tree identification, seed germination observations, and dissecting fruit to understand plant life cycles.

The program’s broader scope was evident in current projects like creating birdhouses and researching sustainable construction materials. Future plans include developing a vegetable garden and a greenhouse within the school courtyard. This hands-on approach not only enhances learning but also fosters community connections, with significant support from local entities. Principal John Ginter lauded the program’s impact on providing students with valuable life and career skills.