One student wanted a butterfly garden.
Another student wanted apple trees, peach trees, a bench swing and fly traps as a defense against bugs that eat plants. He also wanted Cherokee roses.
A third grader envisioned a birdhouse and a whiteboard for her teacher to use for lessons.
Teachers, students, and parents came together recently at a Design and Dine event to share their vision for the new Acworth Elementary School outdoor garden, which will be designed and built thanks to the school’s partnership with Out Teach. Over the three-year partnership, which is valued at about $150,000, Out Teach and its corporate partners, like Target and AT&T, will help Acworth teachers learn how to incorporate the outdoor space into their lesson plans.
They kicked off the partnership with the September Design and Dine event where the school community gave their input to Out Teach representatives on what they wanted the school garden to include and to discuss the ways they planned to use the garden for hands-on learning activities.
The Acworth teachers shouted out their goals for the outdoor space, which included teaching preservation, delayed gratification, and cause and effect. They also wanted to help the students develop a love for nature, understand how our ancestors grew food, and get the kids moving.
Prior to the event, Acworth students drew plans for the garden space. Their plans decorated the school halls. The students with the top three designs presented their work to those in attendance at the Design and Dine. The winner’s included fifth-graders Katie and Bryce and third grader Brooklyn.
Teachers also got out colored pencils and sketched their own designs. Out Teach representatives took notes and gathered up the designs to use as the inspiration for the final outdoor garden plan, which will be installed at a big dig event in November.
With shovels in hand, volunteers will break ground the morning of the big dig, and by the time the school bell rings the next morning, the community’s vision on paper will be a reality.