In early spring 2016, Second Street Elementary School (Frankfort Independent) hosted a districtwide “Campus Beautification day “ that was tied to the community’s United Way Volunteer Day. Students and teachers from Second Street School chose a project-based lesson that they would engage in to help improve the school building.
A 3rd-grade classroom decided that their project would be to incorporate building a garden for the school that also would benefit the community. With the donation of plants from a local nursery, students were able to create an 8-foot by 10-foot area for the garden.
Students thoroughly enjoyed digging into science and mathematics for a purpose to serve their community. They wrote observations and measured their plants’ growth. Below are student quotes about the day.
“Everything has its beauty, but it takes a team to bring it out.”
– Helen Hall Abney, 3rd grade
“I take pride in my school by helping it look better.”
– Blake Doyle, 3rd grade
“We are going to make our community a better place.”
– Miranda Sizemore, 3rd grade
“It helps me synergize so that I can better work with others.”
– Trey Haynes, 3rd grade
“It feels amazing to help the community by growing food.”
– Hannah Drury, 3rd grade
“I planted a garden with vegetables for my first time and now I know how to plant things.”
– Ryan Hulette, 3rd grade
Scott Rollins, a parent of two children who attend Second Street School, shares his experience of “Campus Beautification Day” below.
By Scott Rollins
In early spring 2016, I received an email about our school district having a “Campus Beautification Day” that was tied to the community United Way Volunteer Day. I was eager to participate.
My project was to do some weeding and hedge-trimming around the front grounds of the school and to help with the community garden. To my surprise, there weren’t any complaints about the tasks at hand from the students. Instead I heard, “Can I help you rake up those hedge clippings?” “After we pull these weeds, do you want me/us to go get a wheelbarrow load of mulch?”
After about an hour of hard work, I sat down for a short break. This was really the first time I had looked around to see all that was going on around me. Students were washing the outside of windows. Other students were scraping the iron fence at the front of the school, while other students repainted the scraped part of the fence or repainted parking lines in the lot!
I took a walk around the building to find other students hauling out old, unused materials and equipment from the basement. This made Brad Nunn, the band teacher, very happy. Finally his band room was free from clutter. Beautification was occurring inside and out!
Randy Adams, our assistant principal, joined in the fun. He was seen scurrying around making sure things were going as smoothly and handing out praise and thanks for jobs well done. All in all, this was a great experience for students, teachers, and parents to join together as a community to help improve Second Street School.