The Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation (CUSF) received an early holiday gift when Farm Credit Illinois donated $25,000 for an outdoor educational pavilion to be built at Fowler Farm, just west of Champaign. Kelly Hill, CUSF’s Executive Director says, “Fowler Farm has continued to grow as an outdoor classroom for science, agriculture and environmental sustainability. We are honored to have Farm Credit Illinois recognize the value of investing in these types of transformative experiences for students.”
Julie Anders, Edison Middle School Science teacher and lead educator for the CUSF grant funded program at Fowler Farm is excited to bring more students out to experience the farm activities. “This type of community support gives students real life experience with issues of food production, nutrition and ecological awareness. The Farm Credit Learn & Grow Pavilion, will become a shared place of ownership for the students...just as they refer to "my school" and “my teacher" this space will also become "our farm" and "our Learn and Grow Pavilion" a shared space with a sense of community.”
“Providing today’s youth with engaging agricultural learning experiences in an outdoor classroom connects them with the soil and food in a tangible way,” says Tom Tracy, President & CEO Farm Credit Illinois. "We are grateful for the Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation’s vision and the opportunity to fund the Farm Credit Learn & Grow Pavilion at Fowler Farm.”
CUSF Executive Director Hill continues, “with the funds secured, we will begin working with a generous group of professionals and community volunteers to complete the pavilion. We hope to have the pavilion completed and ready for student use in late spring.”
About the Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation: CU Schools Foundation is an independent, non-profit corporation dedicated to enhancing the quality of education in Champaign-Urbana through community support of the public schools. The Foundation’s goal is to elevate excellence by partnering with the Champaign and Urbana public school community to change the lives of the educators and students served.
About Farm Credit Illinois: Farm Credit Illinois (FCI) supports rural communities, farm families, and agriculture as a farmer-owned lending cooperative. FCI is owned by 8,500 farm families, agribusinesses, and rural landowners in the central and southern 60 counties of Illinois. Invested in the future of the rural communities in which our 220 employees live and serve, FCI annually contributes $300,000 and 2,000 volunteer hours to youth, charities, and rural communities. Farm Credit Illinois is dedicated to Helping Farm Families Succeed today and tomorrow.