VOORHEESVILLE — Rori Champion, a fourth-grader at Voorheesville Elementary School, has lived up to her name, as a champion cultivator of cabbage.
She has won a $1,000 scholarship as New York State’s winner of the Bonnie Plants 3rd Grade Cabbage Program. She has also been invited to appear on NBC’s NY Nightly News this Friday and plans on traveling down to New York City with her family.
Last March, when Champion was in third grade, the Voorheesville Garden Project distributed 2-inch Bonnie Mega-Cabbage Plants to each third-grader at the school. The students cultivated the plants throughout the growing season and submitted their results in September as fourth-graders.
“I couldn’t be happier for Rori and congratulate her on this tremendous accomplishment,” Voorheesville Garden Project Chair Tricia Putman said in a release from the Garden Project. “It’s really important that our youth understand where our food comes from. The Bonnie Cabbage Program complements our existing programs perfectly and is a fun way for our students to learn about growing food while competing for scholarship money.”
“Rori’s reaction was a little bit of shock and a great deal of smiles,” Putnam’s release said, quoting Champion as saying, “I planted the cabbage in my Dad’s garden and liked checking on it to see how it was growing. We harvested the cabbage in June and used it for my Dad’s catering business.”
The Voorheesville Garden Project is comprised of Blackbird Paradise, the school and community garden, and the Farm to School Initiative. Teachers, students, and community members work collaboratively in Blackbird Paradise to grow and harvest produce and flowers to be enjoyed by the district students and staff, food pantry clients, and local senior citizens in need.
“Our school is among the many that have joined the green schoolyard movement,” said Tom Reardon, the Voorheesville Elementary School principal. “The Bonnie Cabbage Program and the Garden Project offer ways for teachers to translate math, science, and social studies into hands-on garden applications. At harvest times, the students are excited to reap the bounty of their labor and eat the fresh produce they have grown together.”