On Wednesday, October 16, 2016 students from Frederick Douglass High School visited the White House’s East wing and the White House Kitchen Garden. The trip was orchestrated by Baltimore native and assistant to President Obama, Broderick Johnson.
In April, 2016 the school received an $11,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to start their urban garden. In September, a statewide kickoff event was held at Frederick Douglass High School, where students heard state, agriculture and education officials talk about the connection between farms and food. The event concluded with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tour of new hoop houses and gardens for the school’s new urban agricultural class. In attendance were students, Lt. Governor Rutherford, Maryland Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder, Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Dr. Sonja Santelises, Maryland State Department of Education Deputy State Superintendent for School Effectiveness and Chief Performance Officer Dr. Sylvia A. Lawson, Baltimore City Public Schools Food and Nutrition Department Executive Director Liz Marchetta, Frederick Douglass High School Principal Kelvin E. Bridgers and Historic Frederick Douglass High School Alumni President and Education Chairperson Brenda G. Thomas and Ida Hines.
It was during this event that a student indicated that they had never been to the White House. From that dialogue, arrangements were made for the students involved in the urban garden program to visit the White House.
Kudos to students of Frederick Douglass High School, faculty and staff, Principal Bridgers and all involved with this initiative.