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Dentist donates $10k for JIS greenhouse

Jemison Intermediate School continues to receive community support and assistance with its outdoor classroom project.

The latest came in the form of a $10,000 donation from Dr. Narvel Black who owns Jemison Dental Care.

The $10,000 donation is to be used to help with the construction of the greenhouse, but it could be used in a myriad of ways.

“It could be used for the greenhouse itself or the equipment inside of it,” JIS STEM Director Rachel Mims said.

The greenhouse will come as part of a kit and will be constructed on site once it is ordered and delivered.

Mims said she is not sure about where it is at in the process because the Chilton County Board of Education is handling that aspect of the project.

At the moment JIS has several projects they are working on as part of the outdoor classroom, including establishing a nature trail and erecting interpretive and identification signs.

“I still believe if you put children first, the other things in education are minor,” JIS Principal D.J. Nix said. “JIS teachers are the best in the state. I look at the heart. If they are good people and selfless, the rest will fall in place.”

The search for funding for the nature trail is ongoing.

“Once we get all of that together, we can finally move on to something else and really start integrating STEM and science by getting the teachers out there and using it,” Mims said.

JIS has also formed a partnership with Petals from the Past another business in town, to help with the various activities associated with the outdoor classroom.

According to Mims, Petals from the Past’s expertise in horticulture makes the partnership a perfect fit.

“They are going to offer their wisdom to teach our kids,” Mims said. “They have also offered professional development for teachers to teach us how to take care of the garden. It is going to help so much.”

Some members of the Chilton County Master Gardeners Association will also be assisting with the school’s pollinator garden.

Obstacles for a drone course are coming and will soon be implemented to give drones something to fly through or land on.

“That will be a step in integrating our technology out there,” Mims said.