Congratulations to Jefferson Elementary student McKenna Morgan, the Pennsylvania winner in the National Bonnie Plants Third Grade Cabbage Program. As a result of McKenna's green thumb, she won a $1,000 scholarship from the Bonnie Plant program. This year, more than 1.5 million third graders in the 48 contiguous states have gotten hands-on gardening experience growing colossal cabbages with high hopes to win "best in state" and receive a $1,000 scholarship towards education from Bonnie Plants.This is the first year Jefferson Elementary 3rd grade has taken part in the contest.
Each year Bonnie Plants, the largest producer of vegetable and herb plants in North America, with 80 greenhouse facilities across the country, trucks free O.S. Cross, or "oversized," cabbage plants to third grade classrooms whose teachers have signed up for the program online at www.bonnieplants.com. If nurtured and cared for, kids can cultivate, nurture and grow giant cabbages, some much bigger than a basketball, tipping the scales, often over 40 pounds!
Launched nationally in 2002, the program awards a $1,000 scholarship to one student in each participating state. At the end of the season, teachers from each third grade class select the student who has grown the "best" cabbage, based on size and appearance. A digital image of the cabbage and student is submitted online at www.bonnieplants.com. That student's name is then entered in a statewide drawing. State winners are randomly selected by the office of the Commission of Agriculture, in each of 48 participating states.
"The Bonnie Plants Cabbage Program is a wonderful way to engage children's interest in agriculture, while teaching them not only the basics of gardening, but the importance of our food systems and growing our own", said Stan Cope, President of Bonnie Plants. This unique, innovative program exposes children to agriculture and demonstrates, through hands-on experience, where food comes from. The program also affords our youth with some valuable life lessons in nurture, nature, responsibility, self-confidence and accomplishment".
"Over the course of the past 15 years, the Bonnie Plants Cabbage Program has proved to be an exciting, worth-while experience that children, teachers, parents and grandparents across the country have embraced. We're certainly pleased and proud of Mckenna Morgan, our Pennsylvania State Winner! We are grateful to have the opportunity to provide our youth with this enjoyable and enriching opportunity and engage their interest in the art and joy of gardening", said Cope.