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John R. Lewis School

All about the students and the food

In February 2017, with a grant from The Abbott Fund, Growing Healthy People began transforming the under-utilized 1,500 sq ft greenhouse at Thomas Jefferson Middle School (now renamed John R. Lewis Middle School) into a state-of-the-art aquaponic/aeroponic/hydroponic growing space capable of producing healthy food year round for a low-income community. The following year, the Abbott Fund sponsored the development of a 30 raised bed outdoor garden along with hands-on teaching of how to grow food in all the systems and spaces. This was the year the Botany Program at Jefferson was born.


What's happening today?

Today you will find the Botany Program at John R. Lewis Middle School flourishing - on a cold day in January over 1,000 plants were growing in the greenhouse including strawberries, excitement to enroll in the class is at an all time high, currently there 100+ students this semester, over 22+ different crops are being grown for the students/families/the community, and students are learning to cook - a real Seed to Table experience. For a glimpse into the amazing program please watch the following video.


Meet Brian Greene

Botany Teacher, John R. Lewis Middle School

Brian brings 30 years teaching and administration experience, his incredible energy and a passion to see students thrive and now grow, harvest, cook and eat their own food!

"The partnership John R. Lewis Middle School has with Cheryl and Growing Healthy People is incredible. Being able to collaborate, create and develop this program for students is something truly unique. Middle school students having the hands-on opportunity to plant, cultivate, harvest and then cook is something few middle school students have the chance to do! We couldn’t have made this so Succesful without GHP!"    -Brian Green

What's next? 

After school program and more!

To expand the impact of the Botany Program at John R. Lewis Middle School, Growing Healthy People is requesting grant funding to develop after school and summer programs. This will allow more students to experience growing their own food from seed to table.


- Sustainable Agriculture Club

- A Culinary Club
- Summer School Drop In


Interested in helping us grow?

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