A Denair Elementary School student stood still in awe, staring down at a tiny seed in his hand.
“When will it be a tree?” The boy asked.
A Denair Charter Academy high school student explained that the seed was from a marigold flower grown right there in the campus greenhouse. It would never be a tree, but with proper watering and sunshine it would be a flower some day.
Students at Denair Charter Academy hosted a greenhouse day for elementary school students on Friday. It was their chance to show off the renovations they made to the old campus greenhouse, which was previously used for storage.
“If I showed you the photos of this place when we first started, you wouldn't recognize it. It had weeds (waist) high, and there was rabbit poop everywhere,” said Donna Williams, a high school teacher at Denair Charter.
Williams and her students took an interest in the greenhouse when administration decided to pull the building down. Williams and her high school classes took over the greenhouse and restored it to its former use. They pulled weeds, cleaned out the long forgotten junk, and replanted the area.
“It's great to see how excited these kids are to learn about gardening,” Williams said.
The greenhouse will be incorporated into several class lessons for Denair Charter Academy students. Williams said that working in the greenhouse could become part of earth science, biology and other classes.
Denair Charter Academy shares a campus with Denair Elementary School, and in March they invited some of the younger students to visit the greenhouse. The kids named some of the plants and learned the basics of how gardening works. On Friday, they got to revisit their plants and even take a seed home to plant in their own garden. More than 200 elementary school students visited the greenhouse in a three hour period, and the whole event was organized by Denair Charter Academy high school students.
“This teaches them how to organize an event, how to be leaders, and it teaches everyone to have pride in their school,” Williams said.
The long term goal for the greenhouse is to provide students with continued education in related subjects. Williams said that one lesson learned in the greenhouse can build a foundation for other lessons. For example, students can learn about life cycles by planting vegetables from around the world. They can then use those vegetables in a nutrition class or a biology lesson.
Elementary school students took away a lesson in biology, their own flower seeds, and the hope that they can someday work in the greenhouse too.
To contact Andrea Goodwin, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 634-9141 ext. 2003.