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Students get the green light to create the Green Zone Club

March 23, 2018 - Partners in Education

Some curious green thumbs at Cahoon/Van Buren (soon-to-be Carter G. Woodson PreK-8) are planting seeds to expand their knowledge in horticulture and take pride in their school environment.  

Middle School Science teacher David Seis decided to turn his hobby and passion into a club for interested students. The club is now in full swing thanks to a $2,100 grant through the Hillsborough Education Foundation, and donations from Walmart with the help of Christine Campbell, the school’s social worker and 2018 Ida S. Baker Education in Action winner. Seis also had the help of his family members, with his father and his brother helping with a temporay irrigation system.

There are 11,000 square feet available for the club known as the Green Zone, where students spend each Friday afternoon beautifying the grounds and prepping seeds for vegetable, fruit and herbs to grow. There is even an outdoor classroom space, which students took the time to paint green. This classroom will be used for presentations that pertain to the garden space and the environment as a whole.

Students spent their first few days in the Green Zone lining the garden boxes with soil or coconut grass, to plant their seeds of choice. Next on the agenda is the planting of trees. This was an opportunity to clear out and clean up the former FFA space and create a sense of pride within the school environment and culture.

“My motivation comes from know this will be a space where students, staff and community will be proud of—and knowing these kids will take home the skills of gardening and even grow, nurture and care for plants and enjoy the food they grow at home. I want them to have pride in their home, school and neighborhood,” said David Seis.

Seis dreams big, his next goal is raise funds to create a greenhouse space where students from kindergarten through eighth grade can learn and grow.

One day in the near future, students will be running the track and be able to see vivid citrus trees growing and smell the fruits of their labor. Food grown in the garden can also be made available in the new food pantry located at the school, thanks to a grant and partnership with Publix Charities and Feeding Tampa Bay.

Cahoon Elementary/Van Buren Middle School will officially open as Carter G. Woodson PreK-8 for the 2018-19 school year—focusing on Academics, Character, Discipline and Leadership.

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