Students at Charles Wright Elementary are learning the science of plants’ life cycle in the school garden while building life skills.
Teacher Jaime Enriquez is managing the garden, where students learn about the impact of sun, soil, and water on different plants such as marigolds, petunias, onions, tomatoes and peppers.
“Oh they love it,” Enriquez said. “It’s a self-sustainable garden so they’re learning that if we produce some money from the garden it helps us buy more product for the future.”
The gardeners-in-training will sell the flowers to their classmates ahead of Mother’s Day.
Students in kindergarten through sixth grade stay after school to work on the garden, planting seeds and harvesting onions, which they were able to take home. Some students also work on the garden during recess.
Besides a science lesson, the garden also teaches the students teamwork, responsibility, and economics.
Julieta Juarez Cruz, a student working on the garden, said she’s loved seeing the seeds she planted blossom into something beautiful. Her work has paid off in more ways than one, she said. “I like it because you do learn a lot, and it’s hands-on science.”
About 25 students participate in the garden club. It’s one of many extended-day programs offered at Merced City School District campuses through the district’s funding and Local Control Accountability Plan.