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A learning garden blossoms at Virginia Cross Elementary

Posted Wednesday, July 13, 2011

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Siler City, NC - Students at Virginia Cross Elementary school have built a learning garden. Starting with basic measurements, several third graders have begun transforming lumber taken from a one-room school house into raised garden beds. Guided by teacher Russ Kozerski, the students cut, nailed, and installed the wood into the campus and then filled the wood with soil for planting. The starter compost was donated to the school by Brooks Contractors in Goldston, and the wood was also a donation.

Four beds that were completed before the end of the school year were planted by kindergarten and first grade classes. The students observed as their seeds sprouted and grew into plants. By participating in this hands-on garden, students learned about the needs of plants, the life cycle of plants, the many species of insects that can be found in a garden and the skills necessary to plant and grow a garden. To integrate the students’ garden experiences across the curriculum, teachers designed lessons to incorporate poetry, measurement and probability, science journaling, and art.

So far, the garden has yielded squash and cucumbers, and the tomatoes are not far behind. Corn, pumpkins, and sunflowers will continue to grow and ripen in the beds for an autumn harvest when the students return.

Next steps for the school’s garden project include the installation of more beds and the building of picnic tables. To maintain healthy soil, third graders will continue using the compost bins funded through a grant from the NC Soil and Water Conservation Auxiliary. Further planting and learning projects in the garden space at VCE will be funded in part by support from the Chatham Soil and Water Conservation District and a grant from Scotts Miracle-Gro.

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A learning garden blossoms at Virginia Cross Elementary
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