If you walk inside the high tunnel at Rainelle Elementary School it’s obvious that aside from crops, the special greenhouse is filled with love. Soon, with the help of WVU, that love will be felt around the state.
The high tunnel project set the school up to be one of three, state wide, to win a contest through West Virginia University’s Reed School of Journalism. “We decided to create a video and a public relations campaign that will help them raise money and make this more sustainable for the future so that the kids can benefit from it,” says WVU professor David Smith.
They call the high tunnel a learning center because that’s what the kids are doing, they’re learning how to garden. With the WVU video, the hope is that the information the students are learning will be able to expand out in to the community.
“I hope that everyone in West Virginia can see what Rainelle is wanting to do with the high tunnel at the school, and some community gardens. I think that WVU can actually take that across the state of West Virginia,” adds Bruce Murphy from the West Virginia Department of Agriculture.
No matter how far the message reaches, it’s the immediate community members like Kelly Goddard that believe the program could help restore the flood damaged town, “I believe it will put a little bit of pride back in to Rainelle and what they’re doing,” says Goddard.