Spanishburg School to break ground on garden - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Spanishburg School to break ground on garden

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PRINCETON (NEWS RELEASE) -- A ground-breaking for a garden? What could make more sense! On Friday at 1:30 p.m., Spanishburg School will pull out the shovels to begin cultivation of a community garden. Principal Melissa Boothe has invited partners, parents, and others to help turn a spade.

According to Boothe, the garden was first conceived as a way for students to apply math, science, and even reading to a hands-on project. “Last summer Concord University hosted a class for third-grade teachers that focused on project-based learning,” Boothe said. “The idea of a garden grew from that class.”

Boothe said that once the school committed to a garden, they sought out partners. “In addition to Concord University, we are collaborating with Jodi Richmond, WV Extension Agency, and Heath Copen, RESA I, Farm to School Initiative. Mercer County Child Nutrition Director Pam Reid is also onboard.”

Spanishburg students are already learning about seeds and germination, using their classrooms as mini-greenhouses. “Once the weather warms, each class will have their own 4’ x 12’ plot in the garden behind the school,” Boothe said. “They will each be responsible for planning and keeping their plots, and each has decided what vegetable or fruit they would like to grow.”

The goal is to have home-grown potatoes on the school menu in August, and enough other vegetables for sampling and snacking – fresh vegetables that some children may never have tried. Teachers even envision a future harvest large enough to provide produce for a farmer’s market.

“During the early summer months when children are not at school, members of Ms. Richmond’s garden club are willing to give us a hand with the garden,” said Boothe. “There is also a possibility that the school will host a summer program for students.”

Friday’s 1:30 ground-breaking will include remarks by Dr. Nancy Burton, Concord University, and partner Jodi Richmond, WV Extension Service. Parents and public are invited to attend.

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