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Trinity High and JLE students create community garden.

 

If you plant it, it will grow. Whether it is the seed of knowledge, the seed of compassion or the seed of a plant, students at both John Lawrence Elementary and Trinity High School are learning lessons on life and giving.

Recently Trinity High School students, under the leadership of their teacher, Michael Harmon, returned to JLE to work with first and third graders to plant a community garden and teach the younger students certain techniques for spacing plants and how deep to plant a seed.

With enthusiasm, all of the students measured using their feet, fingers and thumbs. They dug with their hands and marked every bean, cucumber, zucchini, squash, and tomato plant with their name, and Mr. Harmon taught much younger students about agriculture.

Two THS students, Jasper Sumner and Sam Farlow, even designed and built a giant metal tractor bean trellis for the green bean bed.

“It’s amazing!” said first grader Benjamin Rietschel.

Most importantly, COAT (Community Outreach Archdale Trinity) Executive Director Rita Walker was also on hand to share with the students where the harvested fruits and vegetables would go and why their hard work and efforts were so important. COAT does not receive a lot of fresh produce, so the donations from the community garden will be extremely valuable.

Randolph County School System Superintendent Dr. Stephen Gainey, who was also on hand for the event, said "It was exciting to watch the Trinity High School students work with the John Lawrence Elementary School students on this joint project.  I also was proud of the staff members, especially Bridget Hrinko-Smith, Ms. Karri Stephenson, and Michael Harmon, for their work to make this project a reality.  All three of these teachers are great examples of the tremendous work being done inside and outside of classrooms in the Randolph County School System and the state of North Carolina to provide children with a variety of learning opportunities."

The community garden was funded through an Energy United grant. THS and JLE students built the raised beds last month, but had to wait for warmer nighttime temperatures before planting could begin.

The students have been excited all spring, according to first grade teacher Bridget Hrinko-Smith. “They couldn’t wait to get out there, get their hands dirty and help people!”

“Our focus this year has been Lawrence PRIDE: taking pride in our school, our work and ourselves. In building this garden, we are expanding our horizons and building pride in our community as well,” commented JLE principal Ginger Crites.

 

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