Tucker County High School recently received a large grant check from the 2013 State Farm Youth Advisory Board. A ceremonial check was presented to the school by local State Farm Representative Bob Gutshall and Public Affairs Specialist from State Farm, Erin Bailey. The award was for $73,242.
The State Farm Youth Advisory Board is made up of thirty students aged 17-20 years from across the United States and Canada who manage an annual five million dollar budget and uses the money to fund student-led service-learning projects. Service-learning is a teaching strategy that provides a connection between what is taught in the classroom to application in the real world through research, identification of solutions, and service.
The Youth Advisory Board (YAB) received over 800 applications, and Tucker County was one of only sixty-four recipients, and the only grant that was awarded by unanimous vote!
Erin Bailey, Public Affairs Specialist said this was the largest grant she had seen in her area.
Shane Eakle, teacher at TCHS, was the head writer of the grant application. Eakle credits several students with the success of the award. Mikayla Long, Andrew Hauser, and Corey Kelley were all heavily involved with the grant proposal from start to finish. It was the fact that this proposal was mostly written by students that won the YAB over.
The monies received will be used for things such as but not limited to: 1. purchase high tunnel technology for a second greenhouse so that they can extend their growing season, 2. Purchase the materials/ equipment to start canning and preserving produce from the greenhouses which then will be used in Tucker County Schools, and in finishing the research classroom behind the high school. Using the school grown preserved food to feed the school children of Tucker County would be an innovation that is currently not being done anywhere else in the state.
According to Fish and Wildlife, the schools greenhouse, which is at 3,500 feet is the only one-of-its kind thriving on the East Coast of the USA. The greenhouse program is still in its infancy, having only broke ground just two years ago. Students from both TCHS and the Rubenstein center have already put in over $100,000.00 in volunteer man hours in building and running both the greenhouse and the research classroom.
Through these projects the students will learn such things as budgeting, business ordering, and book-keeping. The students will also be growing seedlings to restore habitats that have been ruined in the area. Students are very proud that they will have one of the few greenhouses that will actually be growing Red Spruce seedlings for local planting (currently most are shipped out west).
Once again the young people of this county like Long, Hauser,and Kelley (with the help of devoted teachers and a caring local business man) have led the way with what can be achieved and accomplished when driven young people set their minds to it.