The first grade class at Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School’s Holy Spirit Elementary campus built a garden on campus as part of their on-going science study of plants. Miss Emily Younker, one of the first grade teachers on campus had the idea to give the gift of growth to the class, with plans for the entire school to enjoy and learn in the garden planted right outside of the school. On Friday, April 4 each first grade student helped plant banana peppers, green peppers, two tomato plants, marigolds, lettuce, carrots, radishes, green beans, and sunflowers.
Miss Younker said, “First grade learns quite a lot about plants in science class during the year. We started learning about plants back in the fall but we don’t get much sunlight in the room and the lima bean plants the students each planted, died. I wanted to give the kiddos a more memorable experience and thought an outdoor garden would be a great way for them to learn about plants rather than showing videos or reading stories.”
With the help of Holy Spirit Catholic Church parishioners, Master Gardener Karen Weber, (a horticulturist in charge of the gardens at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival) and her husband Dennis (Wynlakes Golf Course Superintendent), the first grade teachers, Miss Younker and Mrs. Melissa Bertolotti, decided on a good area on campus for a raised bed garden. Dennis built the custom raised bed and Karen helped both first grade classes plant the vegetables and flowers.
Miss Younker explained, “Even though the first grade planted everything, our goal is to include the entire school in this experience. We just want every student and faculty member to enjoy the garden. The kids are really excited about tasting the vegetables they cultivated. One day, I hope to find a greater way for the kids to give back to the community somehow through our garden.”