Master of Science (MS)


Human Resource Education and Workforce Development

Document Type



The purpose of this study is to determine the relationships and collaborations that have been established between a southern Louisiana parish Cooperative Extension Service and a low socio-economic school and its community as measured by the number of collaborations created and new programs launched, that has created a school and community partnership with the school with the planning, implementing and planting of a school garden. A qualitative study using the interview method was used to gather data. Analysis consisted of examining data for themes and discriminate cases. Guiding questions that centered on specific data were developed. Personal interviews were conducted with the principal and first grade teachers who were chosen because of their involvement with the garden project from its development and implementation. Participants remained anonymous. A digital voice recorder was used to ensure precise answers were obtained. The results of the study found that the garden project was a positive experience for all involved. The students who took part in this project experienced learning in a variety of ways. It was a positive connection between teachers and parents because it provided teachers the opportunity to speak to parents about their child’s willingness to try more foods as well as present teachers with the occasion to discuss with parents other aspects of their child’s learning. And finally, it provided an opportunity for the local cooperative extension service and local community to give a low socio-economic school in the parish a sustainable, educational project that benefited its students. Cooperative Extension agents have long been known for their implementation of programs in the parishes (counties) where they work to deliver researched-based information that can innovate, educate and improve lives. Their ability to coordinate has helped establish relationships that lead to collaborations in their community that have enabled their work to be magnified by the available resources of the collaborators. Collaborations were made through dialogue and hard work and resulted in positive outcomes for all involved. Established dialogue led to trust and buy-in from stakeholders and collaborators. This was essential in developing and building relationships that facilitated and sustained this valuable project.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Machtmes, Krisanna L.