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The Sparta Education Foundation (SEF) approved a grant to expand the Sparta High School Community Garden during their February board meeting. This grant was presented by Adrienne Castorina, Supervisor of Special Services, and Courtney Hyland, Life Skills teacher for grades 9-12. It includes seven raised garden planter boxes, three cold frame greenhouse boxes, a rain barrel kit and six barrel planters.
“The expansion of the Sparta High School Community Garden benefits students by offering opportunities for creative, hands-on learning experiences in many subjects while increasing peer interaction and cooperative planning among students and teachers,” said Donna West, SEF President. “These new additions to the garden provide a multitude of academic and social development goals for Life Skills students as well as students studying agriculture, language arts, history, photography, environmental science, math, health and physical education.”

Adrienne Castorina, Supervisor of Special Services, added “Decision-making and problem- solving sills are strengthened through both structured activities and throughout much of the project development. Students enhance their creative thinking and critical thinking skills, as well as assertiveness, self-awareness and empathy.” Materials funded by the grant will be added to the existing garden in early spring and will be used throughout late fall. The total cost of the grant is $2,664.00.

Since 2006, the Sparta Education Foundation has funded over $1,026,600 in grants to all five of Sparta’s public schools. The Foundation is an all-volunteer, independent 501 (c) (3) NJ Non-Profit Corporation whose mission is to engage the entire community in philanthropic giving. Visit for more information about joining or volunteering.