|TRENTON - For the eighth consecutive year, the Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC) participated in the acclaimed Philadelphia International Flower Show, the world’s longest running and largest indoor event of its kind. The JJC submitted an entry in the competitive category of window box and lamppost. The students’ display was judged by some of the nation’s most distinguished horticulturalists. This year’s show, with the theme, “Articulture – Where Art Meets Horticulture,” ran from March 1 through March 9 at the Philadelphia Convention Center.
The students at the JJC’s residential community home, Costello Prep, drew on the work of Andy Warhol, and his impact on the art world, as an inspiration for their entry. Their window box, paired with a lamp post display, was entitled, "I Always Notice the Flowers," a famous Warhol quote. Costello Prep received an honorable mention citation for their entry which competed with colleges, other educational institutions and garden clubs.
“The chance to participate in the Philadelphia International Flower Show is an incredible opportunity for our JJC residents,” said Kevin M. Brown, Executive Director. “With the help of their teachers, our students can apply the skills they learn in the classroom to create flower arrangements that can compete with some of the best in the world. This experience allows them to put their knowledge and creative talents to work, while providing them with life skills.”
In years past, JJC students have also performed well at the Philadelphia Flower Show winning many awards for individual plant entries and continually placing well in the window box and lamppost category. In 2011, the JJC was honored to take home second place for its entry in this category, losing first place by just one point.
Under the supervision of horticulture instructors, residents of the JJC spent hours in the classroom conducting research on plants, and weeks nurturing their specimens in preparation for the event. Many of the flowers used in the JJC’s entry were grown by the students in green houses as part of their ongoing horticulture curriculum. Students designed and assembled several possible entries, carefully nurturing each to see which would be selected as the eventual entry. Students also have the opportunity to visit the convention center to maintain their entry.
The JJC is the state agency responsible for leading the reform of the State’s juvenile justice system. Established in 1995, it serves to coordinate programs and policies affecting delinquent youth throughout the State, and offers juvenile rehabilitation and parole services. In addition to the core educational curriculum, the JJC provides extensive career and technical education to students, including horticultural instruction. The JJC greenhouses produce thousands of plants each year. The plants are used in community service projects and are made available for sale to the public.