By: Hairol Ma
Started just last year, the MSJ Community Garden (covered in our October issue) has already transformed the area behind the abandoned vandal watch house into a charming site. Home to student grown plants, the garden is now expecting a new addition with help from the special education students, who are going to build their own planter next to the garden.
This project was initially suggested by Special Education teacher Sujata Singh.“Mr. Evans told us that we could build a planter next to the garden,” said Singh. “We were able to find the wood and other supplies by looking at leftover materials from the construction site. That way, we saved money as well.”
With help from Assistant Principal Jeff Evans, the students hope to build a separate planter where they can choose what they want to grow. “We chose together where to plant the plants by looking at where the sun was shining and where it was shady,” says Singh. The students have already started to collect vegetable seeds, such as onions. “We have Common Core standards for these students depending on ability level, and planting is an option,” says Singh. “So this inspired me to suggest the garden. Once the kids see the product of their hard work, they’ll be motivated to perform even better.” The students will learn responsibility as well, nurturing plants that they have chosen to grow themselves and seeing their finished product.
The class has not started constructing the planter yet, though they have the necessary materials. Once the class has finished building it, they plan to plant different types of vegetables so they can make their own sandwiches. The students are also free to choose whatever they wish to plant themselves. Some have already decided to plant wildflowers. Lots of students in the class want to plant carrots.
With the enthusiasm and excitement the students are showing, MSJ can be sure to look forward to seeing the product of the class’s hard work in a few months.