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(COLUMBIA, MO) — Students at CPS elementary schools will have another year of growing plants in garden towers, thanks to additional funds presented on Friday from the Columbia Public Schools Foundation (CPSF).

Foundation board members gathered with students and community members at West Boulevard Elementary School to present CPS with a check for $2,000 for the garden tower project. A portion of the funds presented, $1,800, came from the Lucky’s Bags for Change program, which CPSF participated in last quarter.

“We’re happy to partner with local organizations like Lucky’s to support our strong public schools,” said Lynn Barnett, president of the CPSF Board of Directors. “The Foundation is pleased to see the garden tower program continue at all of our elementary schools.”

The Gardening Inside Our Schools program provides entire CPS elementary school buildings the opportunity to learn about and experiment with aeroponic gardens, a gardening system that does not use soil and instead uses a nutrient
solution for roots.

“The funds provided by the Columbia Public Schools Foundation will supply all the supplies for a year’s worth of observations and discovery centered around the tower gardens and hydroponics for all of our elementary schools,” said Mike Szydlowski, CPS science coordinator. “The CPS Science Department very much appreciates the incredible support from CPSF.”

It costs $54 in supplies to run the garden tower for one school year, which includes the growing of 200 plants for an average of 400 students a year. It costs approximately $2,000 annually to run the garden towers at all elementary schools.

The Columbia Public Schools Foundation is a private foundation established by community volunteers dedicated to the enrichment of public education through community giving. The Foundation has funded projects in every school to enhance education in the Columbia Public Schools allocating more than $1 million to enhance education in the Columbia Public Schools. CPSF has supported teachers and students for more than 20 years.

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