Some Green Country sixth graders are getting to build a garden that teachers said will have a big impact on their education and their community.
The teachers of Monroe Demonstration Academy want their students to return to the classroom, look outside their windows and see a place of beauty and new beginnings.
"When kids come back, they're gonna be able to plant, harvest and be able to sell their own produce and really learn where food comes from,” Monroe Demonstration Academy interim principal Rob Kaiser said.
Mallory Timmons is one of the brains behind the Monroe Community Garden, who said it's all part of a three-year plan.
"They're taking care of something. It's their thing to care for,” Timmons, a Monroe Demonstration Academy science teacher, said. “It's why they might get up that morning,”
Students and teachers gathered at the old garden site Saturday to start fresh by widening the space, putting up a new fence and adding 12 brand new cinderblock beds. The Ed Darby Foundation is funding the project while Food On The Move brought the manpower and is helping with the FDA approval process.
"A lot of people think it's just growing, but there's marketing. There's business development. There's graphic design,” Food On The Move executive director Kevin Harper said. “This'll be a really a living classroom.”
Food On The Move founder Taylor Hanson said this is a great way to plant a seed by encouraging kids to lead a healthier lifestyle. It all starts with what they put on their plate.
"If you start early and start getting inspired about the power of that for your brain and your body, nothing's gonna stop that momentum,” Hanson said.
Timmons said her students will choose what grows in the garden and hopes community members will eventually take ownership of their own garden beds. She said gardening can teach kids a lot of key scientific elements that are much easier to learn in a proper context.
"They'll get the opportunity to take something home that they grew, and they get to put food on their dinner table, literally, and food that they grew,” Timmons said. “Like, that's really empowering, especially at 11 (years old)."