Van Buren Elementary Implements Garden Into Learning

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Photo courtesy: Van Buren School District

VAN BUREN (KFSM) —  Students at King Elementary School in Van Buren are celebrating their state-of-the-art learning garden.

The school received a grant through Captain Planet Foundation during 2016, and it went toward getting their garden started. The foundation has funded more than 2,000 hands-on environmental education projects with schools and non-profits that serve all 50 states and 23 other countries.

The Project Learning Garden program teaches students a variety of subjects including nutrition and science, social studies, math and language arts. Students implement those topics into their gardening, according to the Van Buren School District.

Some of the innovations now used include geothermal heating and cooling, motion activated lighting, rain collection and distribution system, natural lighting in all areas of the school, and self-sustaining landscaping- to name a few. Also, the building itself serves as a teaching tool to increase awareness of the environment.

Susan Loyd, assistant principal at King Elementary School said the items are used to grow vegetables the kids wouldn’t typically eat including cabbage and brussels sprouts.

“…The goal is trying to get them to eat healthy,” Loyd added. “It’s all about learning to eat healthy.”

Tuesday (April 13) Van Buren Mayor Bob Freemen, Superintendent Dr. Harold Jeffcoat, executives from Harps, Dole Packaged Foods and Captain Planet Foundation went to the elementary school to inaugurate a learning garden for the school, which will allow students to interact with the environment while learning about the aforementioned subjects while gardening, according to the district.