Students at North Smyrna Elementary are learning how to garden thanks to a grant given to the school from Lowe's.
North Smyrna Principal Kelly Holt said the school got the $2,000 grant late last year to build a garden. Thanks to supply donations from Clark Seed and local landscaper Kevin Patterson, the school has been able to set up a garden for each grade level to help with.
"Each grade level does their part and comes out to water the garden and get the goodies out," Holt said.
The garden goes along well and reinforces the state's "Fresh Fruit and Vegetables" grant which gives the school fresh fruit and vegetables three days a week, Holt said.
School Interventionist Michele Johnson said the kids have helped out a lot and are excited about the work they're doing. When the school built the garden this spring, Johnson said they were as frugal as possible by using repurposed and reused supplies. Students even put up used cds because the flash of the cd keeps birds away.
Carrots, squash, flowers and more are planted in the six mini-gardens that have been setup.
"I find these days' kids have no garden experience because people aren't doing it as much anymore," Johnson said. "I'd like them to experience something more than just planting a bean in a cup and putting in in the window sill."
With the garden, students are learning how to plant and the importance of planting. Johnson said the students have helped water the plants, labeling which plant is where, and are learning certain plants grow better next to a particular plant. Some grades are checking the growth of the plants and are using math skills to determine the fraction of the garden growing plants.
Students are so excited, Johnson said they are pretty good about reminding teachers when it's time to tend to the garden.
The students are more than happy to lend a helping hand. Student Jayden Butcher said he likes watering the garden and learning the importance of watering the plants.
The garden will continue to be a spring and fall garden. Johnson said teachers will soon decide what to plant in the fall.
"I hope long-term this will spark some interest," Johnson said. "I do believe people who are more involved in gardening are better caretakers of the Earth."
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