Soda City Live: How their garden grows

Published: Mar. 17, 2022 at 5:35 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - There’s something amazing growing at Clear Dot Charter School in downtown Columbia. Clear Dot is a free public charter school on Marion Street.

Michael Frank teaches Spanish there.  He also teaches the students about organic gardening. Mr. Frank and two of his students, sixth-grader Madison and second-grader Bernard, joined WIS TV’s Soda City Live.

Mr. Frank says, “The garden program is a comprehensive component of the school’s educational program that incorporates a field-to-table approach into the core and elective subjects. Students learn about agriculture around the world, botany, etymology, animal science, and weather while learning practical working skills in the garden. The garden is organic and uses sustainable practices. All produce is harvested and used in the school’s culinary program or distributed to the school families.”

The students in grades K-5 have a weekly 45-minute garden class that includes hands-on learning in the garden where they help build, plant, maintain, and harvest the gardens. They also have indoor lessons in their classrooms where students learn about the plant families vegetables are in, the geographic and historic origins of the vegetables, plant pests and diseases they likely will encounter in the garden, beneficial insects and pollinators in their garden, and gardening techniques.

All of the vegetables grown are either served in the meals they prepare in the kitchen for the children, eaten fresh in the garden, or on the playground as snacks.  And, often times, the food is sent home for their Clear Dot families to enjoy.

Learn more about Clear Dot Charter School at

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