Gardens to Go! An Alabama Grants in Place Project Builds Community.

Place-based effort includes gardening, school, and homes!

May 29, 2018 |

Madison Cross Roads students prepare plants for the Gardens to Go Grants in Place project.

Annette Sears, a teacher from Madison Cross Roads Elementary School in Alabama, received a modest 2017-18 Grants in Place award to support her community-minded place-based Gardens to Go project. Sears' students assumed responsibility for the care, distribution, and written instructions for home care of the plants that they started from seed. The students were involved in making transplant bags, which were made from woven ground cover material. The families were then able to take the bags and transplant the new plants at their homes.

This wonderful sustainability effort is an excellent example of place-based learning, and we are so pleased that Ms. Sears sent along this excellent photo essay of her students and their work.

Funding for our Alabama Grants in Place program was provided by Parker Griffith Family Foundation, Jefferson County Alabama Federation of Teachers, University of West Alabama, Black Belt Teachers Corps, Larry Lee, Susan McKim, Sandra Thomastan, and Horace Williams with matching funds from the Rural Schools Collaborative.

Gardens to Go: A Photo Essay from Annette Sears

In the collage below my students are engaged in some of the early prep work and measuring that the project required.

In the collage below my class is putting down landscaping fabric and border.

This is when the real fun begins. We mixed our soil and started seeds. Once the plants were ready we filled our grow bags.

Below we are spreading mulch and moving river rock that had been sitting in a pile on campus for awhile.

After all of the good preparation, we transplanted the plants and sent them home with kids and parents.

A culminating activity was when families came by to see our garden and take plants to their homes.

Since 2015 the Rural Schools Collaborative and its Grants in Place partners have awarded more than $250,000 to innovative rural teachers from throughout the nation. We invite you to learn more about place-based education and the Rural Schools Collaborative mission.

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