For Sherrard Middle School, the building's new greenhouse isn't just a place for students to get their hands dirty, it's a symbol of the school's continuous efforts to "go green."
The greenhouse, once at the former Cameron High School, has allowed students to learn the basics of growing their own food since the end of last year.
Science teacher Kelly Carter said she had been toying with the idea of a winter garden for a while and was ecstatic to learn the school would be getting its own greenhouse. She said students did a "junior architect" project where they designed their own greenhouses or gardens choosing the layout and what to plant, so they could get an idea of what can be grown in a greenhouse.
Photo by Sarah Harmon
Sherrard Middle School students Grace Frohnapfel, left, and Mackenna Strait tend to some plants in the school’s new greenhouse.
Since then, the students have planted tomatoes, herbs and other edible plants that Carter said the students will use for school meals. The school is also building raised garden beds and compost bins.
"A part of this is we want the kids to learn healthy eating," Carter said. "Growing your own food is a part of that."
Carter said a recently awarded grant from West Liberty Professional Development Schools for $2,500 will also allow the students to bring their own garden designs to life.
Also in an effort to be greener, the school has begun it's School Recycling Challenge and students will collect aluminum cans until April 22 for a chance to win prize money for the school. The community is also invited to participate by donating cans labeled "Sherrard Middle School" to Quigley Tom Raw Furs Roots & Hides on Fairmont Pike.
In addition, the students will be performing an "energy audit" on the school by measuring how much energy different parts of the building use and have been unplugging all electrical units for weekends and holiday breaks to save on energy costs.