A well-rounded education is more than academics.  The Foundation for Public Schools in Edgefield County helps to ensure that our students receive more than just the basics.  For the past three years, W. E. Parker Elementary School’s first grade classes have received funding from the Foundation.  The Teacher Vision Grant received has further enhanced our first grade garden.  Students plant tomatoes and peppers in the spring.  However, with this year’s money, mini pumpkins were started from seeds and then transplanted into the garden.  There is great anticipation of the growth of these cute mini pumpkins.  The goal is that every first grader will go home with a mini pumpkin that they helped nurture and grow.  Students go out in groups to weed and water during the week.  They are enjoying seeing all the phases of this plant and experiencing the hands-on aspect.  Students often comment, “I love looking at the plants grow.”

Adults often forget that the experiences they had growing up are completely different from the experiences children have today.  Many adults have worked in a garden at some point in their lives.  Mrs. Cato, first grade teacher, reminds us, “The children’s background knowledge begins to be opened up with the process of the garden because the concept of food growing changes from just seeing it in the grocery store.  They are being exposed to an idea that they would not have been exposed to without this generous grant!”

Left: Hayden Rouse and Chloe Stevenson prepare soil for new seedlings.  Middle:  Mini pumpkin seedling.  Right:  A’Maya Reed, TaVion Martin, Mary Blanche Stark, and Elijah Hatcher weed the maturing plants.


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