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Milestones and Dreams - Tower Garden

The Tri-Village middle school multiple disabilities classroom, Milestones and Dreams, is dreaming big and being assisted by community members.  Aside from regular community outings, the Milestones and Dreams students were learning through mostly direct instruction methods. Teacher, Jordan Renfro, felt as if her students needed more hands-on learning opportunities and set out to change that.  

After conversations with colleagues in special education and research in the alignment of science and social standards, a new vision started to come into view; a tower garden. Why a tower garden? “There are many potential benefits to the integration of a tower garden system in our classroom,” Renfro stated. When asked about those potential benefits, Renfro said, “Students of different physical abilities have the opportunity to experience life, the growing process and fresh produce. Even though students venture on many different external field trips, the daily opportunities for real-world learning and physical equity are much greater than we could ever achieve in monthly excursions.” 

Renfro went on to explain that, “In addition to the access for student learning experiences, the tower garden system would allow for multiple growing cycles over the course of a school year. Therefore, students will have the opportunity to use the fruits and vegetables they grow to create healthy lunches for teachers and staff. This will demonstrate the importance of local farms and the benefits of farm to table meals. Finally, this experience will create stronger peer relations by working with TVHS FFA students and community partners to learn critical life skills.”

The vision for the Miles and Dreams unit started to spread throughout the community and several community partners stepped up to make this dream a reality.  Starting in the 2022-2023 school year, the Milestones and Dreams middle school unit will have a fully functional hydroponic garden tower.  This is all thanks to the following community partners:

DB Custom Creations

Darke County Farm Bureau

Dudley and Sharon Lipps and Family

Eric Fee - Tribute Funeral Home

Frech Cleaning Service

Shane Bietry - State Farm Insurance

If you would like to learn more about the great things happening in the Tri-Village Milestones and Dreams unit, you can find them on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/milestonesanddreams .

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