The Cullman County Junior Master Gardeners club received $2,636.75 in grant money from the Cullman Community Development Commission (CCCDC) this week to help buy new textbooks and education materials for participating children.

According to Cynthia Tubbs, coordinator for the program, they currently serve 225 children at Vinemont, Garden City, and Welti Elementary schools, as well as the Child Development Center and the Career Center.

"Before now, we didn't have enough, and the hand books cost quite a bit," Tubbs said. "So, this will allow each child to be able to use one at school."

Tubbs said the goal of the program is to get children away from electronic devices such as their iPod, and teach them where their food comes from.

"When I ask them at the first of the year where their food comes from, many of them say the grocery store," Tubbs said. "So this program allows them to learn about plants, soil, water, and insects so that by the end of the year, they'll have knowledge about where their food comes from as well as have a personnel respect for our farmers."

In addition to the Cullman County Junior Master Gardeners club, Holly Pond and Parkside Elementary schools were awarded money as well. Holly Pond received $4,500 for computers, while Parkside received $14,441.21 for security cameras.

The Cullman Emergency Medical Service received $10,000 to purchase new digital radios for its workers, as was the Logan Fire Department, who received $7,400.

Good Hope Middle School was given $4,000 to purchase new shoulder pads for the football team. Currently, the players were using hand-me-down ones from the high school.

A total of $46,034.32 was available to be given out, however, a remaining balance of $3,454.88 was put back into the account to be awarded at the next meeting scheduled for July 24 at 6 p.m. at Stony Lonesome OHV Park.

* Ashley Graves can be reached by phone at 734-2131, ext. 225, or by email at agraves@cullmantimes.com

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