Cool Schools: Frank Long Elementary

By Brooke Kelley - bio | email

LIBERTY COUNTY, GA (WTOC) - For some folks, gardening can be tough work. For others, it's therapeutic.

But for the students at one school, growing their own food is just downright cool.

Students are the gardeners at Frank Long Elementary School, responsible for making cucumbers, string beans, lima beans and so much more look and taste great.

"I'm used to helping my mom in the garden, I like to get dirty and it's all kind of fun," said student Gannen Thompson.

Wanda Smith is the teacher who helped start this project three years ago. It was just an idea that quickly turned into a reality with the help of a $5,000 grant to get started.

Now this garden and outdoor classroom is a part of the students' curriculum.

"It's an enormous learning experience we have so many things going on here, we grow vegetables and harvest them," said Smith. "They get to learn about how we grow food and growing process of plants, ties into many, many standards but also making it fun for these students.

Different groups of students work on different projects all the time and each year, they add more the garden.

"I make sure that all my classes get out here and work on something because there is so much to do," said Smith.

The students have their own vegetable garden, butterfly garden and even their own greenhouse and students say they love coming outside to work in their garden.

"We get to come out and see how much they have grown," said Gannen.

The students even have their own fish pond. Principal Scott Carrier says they created this outdoor classroom to give students an opportunity to be outside while learning.

"A lot of kids never had this experience before, they have never had the opportunity to see a garden grow and see how plants are harvested so for them it is very unique," said Carrier.

Unique and very cool.

Next year, students are working on adding a pumpkin patch.

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