Before students at Cooper Middle School left for the summer, they had an extra reason to be excited about returning to Cooper in August, and it was all thanks to their own handiwork, well, their work and the work of Cooper staff and community volunteers from the Home Depot.
Cooper Middle School now has a new school garden equipped with a greenhouse made of recycled 2-liter bottles. There are also raised planting boxes, high-top tables, benches a way to conserve water with the use of the newly-built rain collection system.
Three Cooper teachers—Crystal Mast, Daniel Harbert and Jamie Richardson— joined together to apply for a Home Depot grant to help build the garden. It’s a project that the Cooper 7th grade STEM has been working toward all year.
And, a few days before school let out for the summer, Home Depot pulled up to Cooper Middle School with a check for $2,800 and a team of volunteers to help make the Cooper STEM/STEAM garden a reality.
The students hauled lumber and bags of soil. They mixed concrete and helped erect the garden beds. They also added a creative flair to the garden space with their use of paint. The students, who helped do most of the construction work, also slipped on gloves to add finishing flowering touches to the raised beds.
Although the students and volunteers accomplished a lot in one day, they have plans to do more. They plan to continue adding to the garden space so its impact grows outside of Cooper and spreads into the community.