The AG Project’s Mission Statement:
The AG Project, Inc. is a non-profit organization that provides school gardens to be used by students with a variety of special education needs.
Our mission is to provide these learners with opportunities to enjoy gardening, to improve balance and coordination, and to develop social communication skills through rich sensory exposure.
What Does The AG Project Mean?
By Patricia Robertson, President of The AG Project
One of my special little Kindergarten students inspired the idea of The AG Project, Inc. His name is Aniket and “AG” stands for “Aniket’s Garden”.
Aniket is a beautiful Eastern Indian boy and throughout his year in my class, he always made me smile with his intelligent, quirky humor. Despite his sensory problems, he is a happy kid and a smart, successful student. At this writing, Aniket remains a fun, well-spoken and intelligent boy about to enter the third grade near Austin, Texas.
In Spring 2012 I learned that my brother was involved in sponsoring school gardens for students in north Louisiana. I read an article about the positive effects that gardening had on a class of students with sensory issues and I immediately knew that The AG Project, Inc. would be a great way to honor my special friend, Aniket and to possibly help many other students with sensory problems.
Forming an amazing team of friends who have passion for this cause has been so interesting, so much hard work, so rewarding, and so fun. Our organization is starting small but who knows……..we’re dreaming BIG and hoping to help many, many special kids by providing gardens in schools so that they may also have opportunities to be affected in positive ways.
Board of Directors:
Patricia Robertson is a teacher at Parkside Elementary in Leander ISD. She has taught in various countries and enjoys international travel. Her goal is to help students have fun while learning.
Melanie Mansfield is a wife and mother to three children. She is a registered nurse who has always worked with children. She is excited about helping children reach their social, emotional, and sensory goals through gardening.
Michele Welti Vaughan is a mother of two elementary-aged children and has a teaching background in special education/talented and gifted education. She enjoys providing children with new opportunities and experiences through the installation of sensory gardens.
Past Board of Directors:
Thank you to Anu Mohapatra and Josh McCusker for the parts they played in establishing The AG Project as a nonprofit organization from its inception. Their help as two of the original five founding members was immeasurable. We wish them the best in their new endeavors and look forward to our paths crossing again soon.
Anu Mohapatra is the mother of two kids and has worked as a teacher for several years. She loves to travel, read and try out new recipes. She is excited to make a difference in the lives of kids through gardening.
Josh McCusker is an educator and a father of three active children. His hobbies are running, swimming, playing in a basketball league and trying to play the banjo.