Ready, Set, Grow!
A 4-H school enrichment project
Ready, Set, Grow! (RSG) is an enrichment program for 4th grade students to enhance their study of plants and their importance in fun and imaginative ways. Teams of two trained Master Gardeners present two hours of instruction with several hands-on and creative activities. The program complements the Fairfax County Program of Studies (POS), teaching kids about the parts of plants, flowers and seeds, photosynthesis, germination and pollination. They have the opportunity to have fun while learning from experienced gardeners and the program finishes with each child planting flower and vegetable seeds to take home and watch grow into mature plants.
Who can volunteer?
Master Gardeners from both the Green Springs and Fairfax programs are welcome and encouraged to participate in the RSG program. Volunteers can join at any time, but the RSG season begins with orientation and training meetings in January and February and class sessions are generally conducted during March, April and May. Training is provided, so the only requirement is the desire to work with children!
Bringing RSG to your school or organization
The program is provided free of charge, but is limited based on the number of volunteers available. The kick-off for the Ready, Set, Grow! season begins in early January. An informational letter and registration form is forwarded by the FCPS Science Coordinator from our county Extension Agency to fourth grade lead teachers while the RSG chair sends an email to all private schools, 4-H and home school groups on the contact list. Schools and organizations are notified in February by the RSG chair confirming or regretting their participation for the season.
The Ready, Set Grow project is available to interested public and private fourth grade classrooms, 4-H clubs and Home School Groups in Fairfax County with children age 8-11 at no charge. The two (2) hour uninterrupted presentation is conducted by a team of two Master Gardener volunteers and includes information on the important role plants play in our lives and gives students the hands-on opportunity to plant vegetable and flower seeds.
It is unclear whether RSG will be presented for the 2021-2022 school year, due to Covid-19. We are awaiting direction from FCPS and the Virginia Cooperative Extension on when and how the program can safely resume. Please check back later in the fall for updates.
Impact on our community
Every year 80 to 100 classes representing over 2000 students from more than 20 schools participate in the RSG program. Dedicated volunteers from the Fairfax and Green Spring Master Gardeners make this possible.