Kremlin-Hillsdale Academic Enrichment Foundation:
: 290 Students
All Volunteer-led Foundation
Great Idea to Share
: Jackie Smith Memorial Greenhouse for Agriculture Programming
In 2015, the Kremlin-Hillsdale Academic Enrichment Foundation received an unexpected memorial gift given by the late Doris "Jackie" Smith, who worked in the school district for many years as a bus driver and cafeteria worker. The gift totaled over $145,000 and was a welcome surprise, providing an exciting opportunity for the foundation to fund a special project.
Kremlin and Hillsdale are both agriculturally based communities. Most students in the district have a parent or caregiver working in agriculture. The school has a strong Future Farmers of America (FFA) program that was looking to expand its horticulture offerings for students. The foundation was excited to use this gift to fund a greenhouse to allow expansion of the FFA program and to allow school science classes regular use of the facility as well.
The greenhouse was completed in February of 2019, and this school year marks the first that all Kremlin-Hillsdale students will experience classes taught in the greenhouse. "We believe the controlled environment of the greenhouse allows for learning opportunities all year long. It gives the students hands-on learning through the entire life cycle of plants as well as the responsibilities involved in growing and maintaining their plants," said foundation board member Jacie Brainard.
The FFA club is responsible for the upkeep of the greenhouse. The club also grows an assortment of plants for sale to the community. Proceeds from the sale of the plants are used to help cover costs associated with the upkeep and maintenance of the greenhouse, ensuring the educational opportunities of this investment continue to be enjoyed by students for many years to come.