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Fisher-Titus awards grants

Alissa Widman Neese • Mar 20, 2014 at 6:00 PM

A newly awarded grant will help Norwalk High School students cultivate their minds — and with time, some tasty herbs and veggies, too.

The district received $2,700 this week to kickstart a vertical garden project on the school campus, aimed to support students struggling in health and science classes.

As their name implies, vertical gardens grow upward in restricted spaces, and are typically housed in a wooden structure.

Students will tend to the seedlings, plants and crops, with some oversight from teachers, and also learn about the benefits of healthy foods. The project is slated to begin later this month.

“This garden will provide a space for these students to learn basic science concepts through a real-world, lifelong skill,” science teacher Nathan Whaley said in the district’s successful grant proposal.

Norwalk Schools was one of nine local districts to receive an innovative health education grant Tuesday from Fisher-Titus Medical Center.

Since 1996, the annual grant program has distributed more than $741,000 to fund area math, science and health education programs, according to a news release. This year, funds doled out totaled more than $26,600, with a $3,000 cap on each school’s prize.

The grant Norwalk Schools received will fund a majority of its vertical garden project’s costs, with other organizations, including Miller’s Garden and Landscape Center, American Timber and Steel Corporation, and the Huron County Master Gardeners Association, also chipping in discounted supplies and services.

“The relationship between Fisher-Titus and schools in our area is quite incredible,” Norwalk School superintendent Dennis Doughty said. “It really allows us to do some things that are a little outside what we’d normally be able to do and afford. We’re very grateful”

The following schools also received health education grants Tuesday from Fisher-Titus Medical Center:

•Edison Schools — $3,000, for 12 tablet computers, 12 wireless keyboards and a cart for middle school students.

•Monroeville Schools — $3,000, for 10 document cameras.

•New London Schools — $3,000, for lab equipment, including a document camera.

•Norwalk Catholic School — $3,000, for lab equipment, including data loggers, sensors and graphing and analysis software.

•South Central Schools — $3,000, for equipment, programs and materials for science and health classes.

•Wellington Schools — $3,000, to establish a greenhouse management program at the high school.

•Western Reserve Schools — $3,000, for computers.

•Willard Schools — $2,917, for mannequins and other supplies for CPR training during health classes.

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