05/06/07 — Brogden Primary prepares "Dream Garden"

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Brogden Primary prepares "Dream Garden"

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on May 6, 2007 2:00 AM

Fourth-grade students at Brogden Primary School began digging in to work on their "Dream Garden" this past week, thanks to grant money for the supplies.

Donors Choose, a Web site that matches classrooms in need with donors who want to help, funded the project.

Fourth-grade teacher Robin Casey said she sought to bring the hands-on experience to students that could leave a lasting and memorable impression on their lives, while making a visible improvement to their school.

Many of the students who attend Brogden, in the rural area of southern Wayne County, could benefit from the community service/beautification opportunity, she said. And since receiving the grant money, she hopes to make gardening an annual project.

The goal of the activity was for students to make a real-life connection from their textbook to the community. Students have been reading stories and science lessons that relate to plants.

The idea of the garden was first introduced to students and parents at the beginning of the school year. The fourth grade has been reading "The Gardener," a story that serves as the baseline for the project.

Each month, lessons and activities related to the story were held.

Having it come to fruition was another matter. The cost of the various garden supplies and plants needed was a challenge, Ms. Casey said. The kit, tools, shovels and flowering plants were estimated at $429, which included shipping and other fees.

The dream started to become a reality when Donors Choose notified Ms. Casey of the award several weeks ago. The students have been anxiously awaiting arrival of the items.

On Friday, the class ventured outdoors to clean up the grounds and continue planting flowers.

Ms. Casey said outdoor decorations such as flags and other yard art will gradually be added to spruce up the appearance.

Students have also been maintaining a journal through-out the project.

Later, parents of students will be invited to a garden open house, she said, where they can view the finished project.