The School for Agricultural and Environmental Studies (SAGES) is the recipient of funds from the Rock River Chapter Wisconsin Women for Agriculture. Claudine Lehman, WWA president, said, “We are happy to see this charter school in our area and as a group interested in helping young people learn about agriculture we want to help them in any way we can.”
SAGES has 125 students this year and gets involved in hands-on study activities and visits numerous farms and nature areas as a part of its educational curriculum.
Farmers in the area open their farms to the students for a variety of educational activities.
Principal Nick Vertz says, “Our mission is to produce responsible, productive citizens who have both a local and global perspective and are committed to preserving and sustaining national and world environments, food sources and other natural resources.”
Students get involved in a variety of unique projects. Recently, first and second graders built models for an outdoor classroom utilizing the boulders that were made available to the school from a local site. Students used their imaginations to become the boulders and were "placed" in the positions their models displayed. As a class, the students discussed the pros and cons then decided on two plans to present to the Governance Board of SAGES.
Two students were able to present the plans to the board in order to gain approval to go ahead with building the classroom. The students explained the plan and their intention for using the outdoor space.
SAGES hosts a National Agriculture Week celebration with help from farmers and other volunteers in the area. Rock River WWA has been involved in those activities in the past and plans to do so again this year.
Rock River WWA supports numerous youth and 4-H activities. The majority of the funds raised by the group go toward scholarships to youth interested in pursuing a career in agriculture.