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OJA ART EXHIBIT AT OKLAHOMA HISTORY CENTER
'Winter Wonderland' parade brightens downtown Shawnee
Taking first placed for Best in Show was the Charlie Brown Christmas-themed float
Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center in Tecumseh. COJC is a medium-secure institution for delinquents and youthful offenders and this was the first time COJC has entered a float in the parade.
The residents and staff designed and built their float with the Peanuts gang enjoying a winter wonderland while skating on a frozen pond as snowflakes blanket the landscape, complete with the scrawny Charlie Brown Christmas tree, Snoopy and his doghouse, and Linus reciting the true meaning of Christmas, Fry said.
program for Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs
Young offenders to learn plant life, good business practices with hands-on program at detention centers in Manitou and Tecumseh
“Now we're taking that same idea and we're expanding on it,” Christiansen said. “Because there was a change in the child nutrition law, the kids can now go from start to finish and really be involved in and eat the vegetables that they grew.”
Micah Anderson, with the state Agriculture Department's plasticulture program, visited the two facilities in early April and installed a drip irrigation system beneath plastic tarps tied tight over tilled earth.
Wrapping growing operations with plastic can help overcome environmental challenges like drought because the plastic helps retain moisture when it would normally evaporate, Anderson said. It also creates less water waste, he said.
“And the plastic also keeps weeds out so you don't have to do much chopping,” he said. “This will give them a little more time and control.”
Christiansen said her office also is reaching out to farmers in each area to get them involved in the program by sharing their experiences and offering their expertise.
By next year, she said, the department hopes to develop horticulture into the facilities' science curriculum.
It might also be a good fit for a marketing or small business curriculum, Christiansen said, “So that when they go back to the community, they're going back to the community and not to us.”
Most of the juveniles sentenced to Office of Juvenile Affairs are from Oklahoma City and Tulsa areas, she said, and have no experience with farms.
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