Our opinion: Kudos to local ROCKETS

Published 12:33 pm Wednesday, December 19, 2018

If you give someone food, they will eat today. If you teach someone to grow their food, they will eat for a long time.
Members of the Sumter County 4-H ROCKETS (Reaching Our Community through Kindness, Education, Togetherness and STEM) are learning that lesson in a hands-on manner, not only ny growing food, but by giving it to others who need it.
ROCKETS is a sustainable innovative community project in which the young participants are provided opportunities to build positive relationships and enhance their learning through doing.
The ROCKETS project started in September at Sumter County Intermediate School and Furlow Charter School. Raised garden beds were installed at both schools with the help of Brandon Goss, Americus-Sumter High School ag teacher, and local FFA students. Students planted collards, lettuce, cabbage, swiss chard, and snapdragons. After several weeks of caring for the crops, the class at Sumter County Intermediate School picked their first collards and donated their harvest to a local family for Thanksgiving. ROCKETS participants also collected canned goods for several weeks and personally delivered their collected goods in time for Christmas to the Harvest of Hope Food Pantry in Americus.
These experiences will go a long way in preparing these young people for the future. Not only are they learning how to grow their own garden, but they’re experiencing the joy of giving to others.
The ROCKETS project is funded by the University of Georgia’s Extension Innovation Grant awarded in July 2018 by the Associate Dean for Extension’s office. We applaud UGA for funding this excellent program, and we appreciate the Sumter County School System permitting students to take part. Most of all, we congratulate these students for their hard work in bringing their efforts to fruition to help others.
We call that character building.