Ready, Set, Grow!

COMING TO A ELEMENTARY SCHOOL NEAR YOU IN MARCH 2018:  Elephant’s Fork  •  Mack Benn  •  Oakland  •  Booker T. Washington  •  North Shores  •  Creekside  •  Hillpoint  •  Kilby Shores  •  Driver  •  Nansemond Parkway  •  Pioneer  •  Nansemond-Suffolk Academy

The Ready, Set, Grow! program began in 1998 when Herbert W. Pettway, the retired director of the Chesapeake Department of Agriculture and coordinator for Virginia Cooperative Extension, decided to to take horticulture into the classroom.

Master Gardeners travel to various Suffolk elementary schools to speak to each first grade class where the poem, Oh Say Can You Seed by Bonnie Worth, is read. The children are taught the meaning of the terms photosynthesis and germination, and are asked questions as the poem progresses about the various parts of a plant’s anatomy including seeds, fruits, roots, stems, leaves, and flowers.

At the end of the presentation, students plant seeds provided by SMGA, and then take them back to their class to watch them grow.

Elementary schools visited in the past have included: 
Nansemond Parkway • Kilby Shores • Nansemond-Suffolk Academy • Elephants Fork • Oakland • Florence Bowser • Booker T. Washington • First Baptist • Creekside



Plant SaleL-R: Master Gardener volunteers Wanda Gerard, Ben Shockley and Sandy Muller present the Ready, Set, Grow! program

Plant Basics: What Students Learn

Plants need food, air water, light and a place to grow.

Parts of a plant: seeds, roots, stems, leaves, blossom and fruit. Plants can be edible or non-edible, flowering or not and evergreen or deciduous. Students learn how temperature, light and precipitation bring about changes in plants.


Would you like Ready, Set, Grow to come to your school?

We would love to speak with you about including the program in your curriculum! Call 757.514.4331 for more information.

Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Interim Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.