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Starke Elementary's Student Garden

Starke's Teacher of the Year, Kim Burnett, has been planting seeds with students for several years. The garden is a grant and partnership with the University of Florida Extension Office. Master gardeners assist students with maintaining the garden. Students learn how to garden — they work in it daily, watering and weeding. They participate in monthly nutrition classes where plants from the garden are used to make recipes.
Besides learning about the health value of a garden, 4th graders also learn math and science concepts such as area, volume and the life cycle of different plants that are imbedded in the program. Students also learn to work together in taking care of the garden, as well as responsibility. This year's garden looks great! In the fall garden, students are growing quite the selection of vegetables, which are as follows: tomatoes, beans, zucchini, radishes and lettuce. Their garden also has many herbs that they use to season the vegetables, such as cilantro, thyme, basil and dill.
In addition to the garden, Ms. Burnett has also spearheaded a beautification project of planting flowers around the cafe which will be expanded to the entire campus this year. Mr. Copeland commented, "It really makes a difference in our school. The flowers really brighten up our campus."
Ms. Burnett will be adding chickens in the spring. She said, "The coop is ready and the chicks will come after the winter break."

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