Wilson Elementary had a Garden Club in place which was started by teachers and parents of the students. One of the original garden club founders is now a cafeteria cook, and the Wilson Garden Club Program Coordinator, Sonya MCC ool, is a teacher’s aid.
When Teton Botanical Garden (TBG ) first came to the school garden, we noticed the overwhelming number of weeds. If TBG is known for anything, it is known for getting things done!
The first time we met Sonya, it looked like she was holding back tears of joy because she was finally getting some help maintaining the huge garden. That was added motivation for TBG , since one of our major goals is to build a community of students, parents, and other volunteers to maintain the gardens and keep extra work loads from becoming another teacher responsibility.
Every week on Thursday and Fridays, the K – 5th grade students at Wilson Elementary volunteer during their lunch recess to go to Garden Club! This is their own choice, and about 85% of the students actively participate in the garden club weekly! I heard one 1st grader say, “I’ve been waiting all week for this!” I asked her what she was waiting for, and she said, “Garden Club!”
The elementary students love to dig in the dirt, plant seeds, transplant, trim and to ask questions about the world of gardening, and clipping herbs to take home to their parents. The best part, however, is taking their food to the cafeteria, where the cooks take the food to prepare for the next day’s lunch! The students are so proud and excited by all they have accomplished, their faces are just beaming with pride!
The favorite food for these youngsters is turnips! That’s right, Wilson Elementary School students love their turnips and the cafeteria cooks say the turnips go like french fries every time they are presented in the lunch line!