Good morning,

The “Eat Better Move More” classes I am currently teaching were scheduled through Beverly at 21st Century Learning. I will complete those next week.

The raised bed gardens were a project we discussed and started with myself, Mrs. Woods and Mrs. Nolin. We plan to use the beds during Body Quest classes, but also they are for the entire school to utilize for different projects.

To fund the project I contacted RC&D and submitted an application for funding for the project. We were approved and all costs are being covered by those awarded funds from RC&D. One of the new beds will have vegetables, and the other bed will have herbs and wildflowers. The concept of both beds meet the needs of the lessons and programming as well as the criteria for funding from RC&D.

Yesterday the 4& 5th graders worked very hard to help with the new beds, put down the soil and plant the vegetables. We had our lesson first, and discussed plant and garden concepts, along with nutrition components. The concepts we discussed on gardens were then used and discussed while working on the beds.

There were a few students who absolutely went above and beyond to help, work, and ask lots of questions. They even read the tags in the potted vegetables to tell us all how far apart to plant and how much sunlight is needed. I was beyond proud of them and their interest in the project. They are especially excited to be able to show the younger students that they built the beds and to see how they progress to make everyone happy at Thompson.

Some even asked if they would be able to give the teacher’s some of the wildflowers when they grow. Excellent!

Tomorrow we will have another class with the same group and will work on the last bed (vegetables and herbs.)There will be a couple of volunteers from our Master Gardener’s to help with the clean out and assist. We will also let the younger kids plant some seeds in a cup to take home as a home project.

This has been a huge collaborative endeavor with many people here at the Extension office, SNAP Ed, the Gadsden Public Library Seed library (Rachel Cole), RC&D conservation (Coosa Valley Region, Heidi Richards), Beverly @ 21st Century, as well as the garden champions: Mrs. Woods and Mrs. Nolin. We all want to see the project thrive for the students, faculty and staff at Thompson.

I am attaching the photos from the project so far as well as some information on RC&D who provided the funding for the project. I will send the final photos after completion.

Please let me know if you have any questions or need any additional information.

Best wishes,

Karen Hurst, Auburn Extension Service

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