Science and Gardening the Service Learning Way
The yearlong (2014-2015) Service Learning project at Ruby Young Elementary School, Desoto, involved approximately 50 students in grades 1-5. Patty Wallace, the science teacher oversaw the project, and Dickerson Center volunteers worked with students one afternoon per week and during the summer to assist in planting and cultivating a variety of vegetables such as carrots, spinach, cabbage, tomatoes, and kale as well as some fruit trees. Emphasis was placed on certain science concepts that students were learning in the classroom, such as the parts of plants, the life cycle of a plant and related vocabulary words. Students took turns planting seeds, weeding and harvesting.
The students all seemed to enjoy being outside working in the garden. Mrs. Lamar, CEO of Dickerson Center encouraged students to try gardening at home and stressed the importance of sharing some of their produce with others who may be in need.
In 2015, Mrs. Lamar nominated Mrs. Wallace for the WFAA Eco-Educator Award. She won and Ruby Young Elementary received $1,000 to enhance its garden project.