Students, Kids Team Up as 'Box Buddies'

SUNY Oneonta and Riverside Elementary School are collaborating on a new cross-disciplinary program aimed at getting children excited about growing their own food.

With funding from a $3,976 NobleCause grant acquired through SUNY Oneonta’s Center for Social Responsibility and Community, Assistant Professor of Biology Sean Robinson built 12 simple vegetable grow boxes and installed them in each of Riverside’s K-5 classrooms in September. 

Nearly 70 SUNY Oneonta biology and sociology students teamed up in small groups as “box buddies” for each of the 12 classrooms. Throughout the semester, the students visited their assigned classrooms six times to help the children plant the boxes and present lessons about food, society, the environment and plant biology. "I think the model is a really good one in terms of bringing the college students to the elementary-age students," said Greg Fulkerson, associate professor of sociology. "Everybody benefits: the community, our students. It’s a win-win." Read more