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The Science Engagement Center at The Compass School Farm serves as an outdoor laboratory for hands-on learning of STEAM concepts for students all over Rhode Island.

We are dedicated to providing innovative opportunities for our students while promoting best practices for environmental education. We will disseminate knowledge and insights with local sending districts, the charter school network and the larger educational community. Charter schools have the potential to drive change and improvement in the larger public school system, serving as models or laboratories of reform. The creation of the Science Engagement Center allows The Compass School to do just that.

Get Your School Involved!

Apply to Participate in the Compass School Garden Outreach Program!

Why Apply?

Selected schools will receive…

  • A materials grant in the amount of $1,500 to build or enhance a school garden!
  • Consultation support from The Compass School Outreach Farmer!

Who is eligible?

  • All schools public and private are eligible to apply for this grant.
  • Application preference will be given to schools serving the Washington County Area,
    but is open to the entire state of RI.  Strong applications from outside of the Washington
    County Area will be considered.

When is the deadline?

  • January 15, 2018 by 3:00 pm

When will schools be notified?

  • February 9th, 2018

What is the expectation of the schools who participate?

  • The school-based coordinator for the project must commit to seeing the grant through
    to its completion.
  • The school principal must authorize teachers to utilize the garden during the school day
    as an instructional resource. A minimum of 3 teachers need to demonstrate commitment
    to incorporate garden into curriculum.
  • Each school will assemble a school garden team consisting of both adults and students.
  • The  school-based coordinator agrees to visit The Compass School Farm with the school
    garden team during the planning phase of the school garden design.
  • The school agrees to incorporate students in the garden process through the planning,
    design, build, maintenance plan, and decision-making process (as appropriate by age).
  • The school commits to organizing at least 2 community garden build days which include
    students, families, and teachers.
  • The school-based coordinator commits to completing the end of grant report that summarizes
    the successes and challenges of the garden build experience. The Compass School will offer a
    template which will include both narrative and photo elements.
  • The school garden team must develop a 3 year plan for maintenance of garden during summer
    vacation.  Successful plans plan will demonstrate coordination with school facilities and
    maintenance staff as well as any outside landscaping services hired.


John Wolf, Director, The San Miguel School, Providence, RI
As the director of a small school for at-risk boys in Providence, RI, I can attest to the value of the Compass School program as it relates to informing a wider population about sustainable practice in farm and gardening.

Our 8th grade class had an opportunity to visit with students from The Compass School earlier this fall and they found the trip to be informational and inspirational. The focus of our trip was an introduction to best practices in school gardening and sustainable practice. The boys had chance be part of student-led tours, a healthy eating “smoothie workshop”, work with caretakers for small farm animals and to perform basic garden “end of year” service. In addition to the farm and garden connections, the boys found value in sharing lunch and recess from students who live in rural and suburban areas.

We are planning to host students from Compass on a second leg of the program early in 2018 and we’ll focus on engaging them in service connected to our garden and to learning more about our neighborhoods and school.

The personnel from Compass connected to the planning and execution of the visit were great to work with. They were professional, courteous and thoughtful in ensuring our “city” students felt respected and at home at their school farm. We very much look forward to continuing to build the bridge between our school communities with the farm and garden program as a hub. The program has my strongest possible recommendation.