Students at Cheney Elementary are sprouting green thumbs along with a robust crop of tomatoes, onions and yellow peppers thanks to their new school garden.
The garden was started by Cheney’s Healthy School Team and is sponsored by Cheney’s School-Based Health Center (a Central Florida Family Health Center location) along with the Winter Park Health Foundation. The garden was created in February and has become both a learning tool and fun activity for the students.
Gardening responsibilities are shared throughout the school. It is loved and tended to by many students — from pre-kindergarten to fourth grade — as well as by staff from the school and the School-Based Health Center. Students and staff planted a wide variety plants including tomatoes, onions, turnips, green and yellow peppers, sunflowers and milkweed. The milkweed plants are especially popular because they attract Monarch butterflies.
Aside from teaching the students how to grow plants, the garden is also a useful tool in other areas as well. The School-Based Health Center uses the garden to teach children about healthy eating and which foods are nutritious. The garden allows children to have fun with these lessons. Many teachers are also incorporating the garden into their lesson plans.
Cheney’s school garden is growing fast and becoming a favorite activity and learning tool for both students and teachers. For more information on Cheney’s school garden, contact the school’s secretary at 407-672-3120.