Monette Harrison's "Tiger Pride: Creating Beauty from Ashes" received a $825 Grants in Place award to plan and implement a school beautification project at Greenville Middle School, where students worked hand in hand with the town horticulturist as well as other community members.
Our Alabama Grants in Place program is offered in conjunction with our Alabama Hub at the University of West Alabama, Support funding for RSC's Alabama Grants in Place program is provided by Parker Griffith Family Foundation, University of West Alabama, Larry Lee, and the Alabama Friends of Rural Schools. Grant recipients attended the Digging Into Rural Traditions (DIRT) Conference at UWA on September 18, 2018.
We are pleased to provide this final report on "Tiger Pride" from Ms. Harrison:
"Last year, our new Superintendent, Dr. John Strycker, challenged us to beautify the front of our school area at Greenville Middle School. We realized our dream of beautifying the area through the Rural Schools Collaborative Grants in Place award.
In the area, the students noticed the following: a sign on a brown brick wall, ground spotted with grass, and rose bushes on the side with few buds. Instead of a ferocious tiger on the sign, our tiger had droopy eyes and a turned down mouth, looking sad and depressed [Pictured on the right]. Seeking out the expertise of the City Horticulturalist, we discovered several ways to beautify the area. In addition, we consulted with a sign maker to improve our sign.
Our goal was to instill pride before you enter the building by creating a beautiful entryway to the school. We had a cleanup day in which parents, students, and staff removed trash from the front areas and around the school grounds. The Greenville city gardeners added soil conditioner and potting soil, so the area was more conducive to foliage. We pruned the Knock Out Roses; included Jasmine as a ground cover; added mulch to hold the water in the area, and added two large pots containing flowering plants that could be alternated depending on the season and availability of the students to care for the plants. At the entrance to the building, we removed the dead Jasmine and will be replacing it with Drift Roses. Additionally, we worked with Mr. Purvis, our community sign maker, who installed our new ferocious tiger sign that was consistent with our other team logos.
The project tied into our seventh and eighth grade curriculum by planning and carrying out investigations regarding mixtures; analyzing and interpreting data to predict how environmental conditions influence the growth of organisms; and how resource availability impacts individual organisms as well as populations of organisms within an ecosystem. The students learned through investigation that certain plants would grow better than others if the soil was conditioned, hence our selection of Jasmine as a ground cover instead of flowers. Additionally, they learned how the selection of organisms would influence the growth of the plants in the ecosystem.
The project was a great success, educational and fun for the students and community! We thank Dr. Strycker for the challenge and Rural Schools Collaborative Grants in Place for the award."
Thanks again to Parker Griffith Family Foundation, University of West Alabama, Larry Lee, and Alabama Friends of Rural Schools for supporting our Alabama Grants in Place Program.