Katie’s Krops Opens First Outdoor Classroom

SUMMERVILLE — This year, a town nonprofit welcomed its first community garden outdoor classroom. To keep it free, the organization is looking for a sponsor.

“It’s something that’s been a dream of ours for a very long time,” said Katie Stagliano, the founder of Katie’s Krops, an organization dedicated to building community gardens to support food giveaways.

At its flagship garden at Crossroads Community Church on Gahagan Road in Summerville, Katie’s Krops is giving people the opportunity to sign up for classes like gardening basics, yoga, art and safety.

Currently, all of the classes are free as a way to make sure everyone who is interested has access, organizers said. To fund needed classroom supplies, the nonprofit needs additional donations.

According to Stagliano, the people at Crossroads Community Church are what inspired them to do the current outdoor classroom. Another source of inspiration was the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the past year, she said, children have been dealing with extended periods doing online schoolwork. And while schools in Dorchester District 2 have made a full return to in-person classes, a lot of parents have chosen to keep their children in the district’s virtual school program.

Organizers said they see the new outdoor classroom as a way for children to have fun learning while being able to practice social distancing.

Some of the classes include a safety talk from a Summerville police officer and a special story time with Stagliano.

“The availability of such a valuable resource is very exciting for me,” said Lisa Turocy, Katie’s Krops master gardener. “One of my personal goals is to continuously find ways of working with children in an educational environment.”


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