Madison County’s own Ohio State University Master Gardeners helped pass on their knowledge and passion to a Monroe Elementary School after school program, during this 2016-2017 school year.
The student “Soil Super Heroes” were led by the Madison County Master Gardener volunteers where they gained firsthand knowledge about growing plants for food as a hobby.
The Master Gardener Volunteer Program, through OSU Extension, is made up of volunteers who are intensively trained and then assist with educational programs and activities in their county.
The club at the Plumwood-based school was staffed by these volunteers and funded through a Twenty-First Century Grant, which was first awarded to the Jonathan Alder School district elementary school in 2015. Until 2018, Monroe will receive $390,000 for programs such as these.
During the spring semester, the students were given the opportunity to examine plants and worms, learn about garden tools, composting, grow seedlings in milk cartons and plant vegetables as well as flower bulbs at the school.
They also learned about the science behind plants, how they live along with their life cycle and which ones were edible.
One of the planting projects helped beautify the area around the school’s sign with yellow and pink flowers that are now in bloom.
Later, they planted a “tower garden” in the school’s cafeteria featuring edible plants that the students were able to later taste.
Lindsay Kauffman, a library aide and parent at Monroe said she noticed her children were more excited to help with the family garden at home and that they told her it was, “the best club they’ve ever been in.”
“After helping plant spring bulbs in Soil Super Heroes, my children have been thrilled to watch their hard work come to life,” she said. ”Each day we walk past the beautiful flowers and they admire all the new blooms.”