Elementary students plant food for the hungry
Thursday, Jun 13, 2013 11:13 am
Approximately 130 Grade 4 students from Nose Creek Elementary School rolled up their sleeves and got out their shovels and hoes to plant a vegetable garden at Dixon Farms, about 10 minutes northwest of Airdrie, in support of the Airdrie Food Bank on June 7.
“I’m not talking a garden you’d see in your backyard,” said Nose Creek Child Development Advisor Robert MacLellan. “It’s the size of a football field.”
The students participated in the annual vegetable planting known as the Gardens Replenish Our World (G.R.O.W.) Initiative that is part of the school’s commitment to the community and the Free the Children’s Me to We project, MacLellan said.
“Our teachers always tell us to give a little bit,” said student Britian Cragg Scott.
“We took the vegetables out of the ground last year (September) and now we’re giving them back to the people who need them.”
Ty Boese, another Nose Creek Grade 4 student, had the job of hoeing the rows so other kids could plant the potatoes.
“I like work. I really love work. Not school work but this kind of work. We don’t have to be in class today but can work,” he said of the gardening.
“Often for kids who struggle with the academics, this gives them the opportunity to shine in a different light out here. It’s a different kind of learning,” said Dixon Farm owner and Nose Creek art teacher Wendy Dixon. “They’re just digging away and just beaming.”
The school has been participating in the G.R.O.W. program for about five years now, MacLellan said, and added all Grade 4 students at the school spend an afternoon helping out at the food bank.
“It gives them a real hands-on experience in planting the garden and knowing where the food comes from,” he said.
The students plant mostly field potatoes because other produce hasn’t been as successful in the past, MacLellan said.
“I love that I’m helping people who don’t have any money to buy potatoes,” said student Keith Lamarche. “I feel good about myself. I’m happy that people are happy to be able to have potatoes.”
“This teaches the children hospitality, to work together and to learn to give to the less fortunate,” said 94-year-old G.R.O.W. volunteer Elsie Dandy. (See related letter on page 9).
The hard work of this Grade 4 group will be harvested in September by the new set of Grade 4 students at the school and donated to the Airdrie Food Bank.