EPS Special Education Department expands student garden with grant

EPS Special Education Department expands student garden with grant
(Source KSWO)

ELGIN, OK (KSWO)-Students at Elgin Public Schools are working on their green thumbs.

The Special Education Department received an $1800 grant from Home Depot for their student garden.

"I love flowers," said Gregory Osborn, student.

"We're trying to teach them life skills," said Barbara Stroud, Special Education Director. "What they can do when they grow up."

The student garden has been around for over a year now. It started in a tractor tire, then grew to a small raised-bed and is now a full garden.

Stroud said the grant from Home Depot gave them the push they needed.

"They delivered, and they came out with volunteers to help us plant and they brought extra flowers, extra dirt," she said. "And the kids got to work with individuals through Home Depot."

On Wednesday, students like Layla Penn watered old plants and planted new ones.

"Flowers, peppers, radishes, tomatoes and peppers," said Penn.

Each morning the students take a break to tend to the garden. Vince Condren said that's his favorite part of the day.

"Working together with all my friends," he said.

"It's extremely important for them to be able to communicate with other people," said Stroud. "To dig in the dirt, to laugh and enjoy planting the garden. And I think the communication with others is key."

Stroud said they plan to harvest during the school year and allow students to take some plants home as they grow.

She said her hope is that the garden provides the life skills students they need.

"And be gardeners when they grow up and be able to compost and recycle and have a garden that they can plant and know how," said Stroud.

Last year the department also received a grant for their greenhouse from community members and the Oklahoma Forestry Services donated 200 trees.

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