Learning takes root: CIS students plant a garden

Published 10:26 am Monday, March 19, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

An empty patch of ground at Clanton Intermediate School was turned into an outdoor classroom as students in Jill Moatts’ class participated in a garden project.

The project was led by Emily McKinney Nelson, who is teaching in this third-grade classroom as a part of the requirements for her Masters of Education.

“I decided during my 20 consecutive days of teaching I wanted to do a project and noticed the empty garden spot that is a focal point as you enter our school,” Nelson said.

Moatts and CIS Principal Louise Pitts liked the idea, and plans for the garden began.

The plan was to feature a variety of plants in the space.

“We have a flower group, strawberry group, vegetable group and herb group,” Nelson said. “We have learned about the various needs plants have and their life cycles. We have also taken these 20 days to put our knowledge to work in our garden.”

Before the actual planting could begin, students had to prepare the soil and mulch to inhibit the growth of weeds.

“The students have also learned about the difficulties many farmers face with the weather on a small scale,” Nelson said.

Freezing overnight temperatures meant the class had to develop ways to protect the plants from dying in a frost.

She said the project gave students a sense of accomplishment in knowing this was their garden and watching their hard work pay off as the plants grew.
“I have really loved being able to watch the students see the progress their plants are making,” Nelson said. “It is just the most amazing feeling being able to see your students learning and seeing their excitement when their plant grows or produces a crop.”

Donations from a number of people made the garden possible. Nelson said she was thankful to Tommy Glasscock, Jason Griffin, Paula Thornton, C.J. Robinson, Regina Young, Lori Patterson, Angie Sanderson, Chris Smith, Tommy Headley, Glenn McGriff and Blackwell’s Nursery for their support.