Tyler, Tx — The Garden Club at Douglas Elementary School is flourishing thanks to a new compost bin that was funded through donorschoose.org, an online charity where public school teachers can request funding for classroom projects. This project exemplifies one of Tyler ISD’s new Core Beliefs: Schools and communities have an enormous impact on students’ lives.
Douglas Elementary School science lab teacher Ashley Green, who runs the Garden Club with help from teachers Catherine Lengua and Reyes Gomez, applied for funding for the $175 compost bin in September. Within three days Kia Motors donated half the money needed. By the first week of November two anonymous donors and Emily Piccone, a middle school teacher from New York, funded the remainder of the project.
“We are so thankful for the donations,” Mrs. Green said. “This hands-on project helps our students learn about gardening and where their food comes from. I hope this project gives them the tools to one day teach their own kids about gardening.”
Two dozen fourth and fifth grade students participate in the Garden Club at Douglas Elementary School. This year they grew tomatoes, onions, okra, peppers, pumpkins and all sorts of herbs.
“We use everything that we grow in the garden,” Mrs. Green explains. “We send some of the fruits and vegetables home with Garden Club members to cook with their families. We also like to use one of our herbs, mint, to make mint tea on days that the club meets.”
Since receiving their compost bin, Mrs. Green and members of the Garden Club put newspapers, leaves, and dead plants from the garden in the bin. Mrs. Green also plans to recycle food waste from the cafeteria in the bin. The Garden Club will use the composted material as fertilizer for the plants.
The Garden Club will to send a thank you package, complete with handwritten letters and pictures, to the donors in February.