Thursday, April 25, 2013
Ariana Hudson of Knightsville Elementary School recently received a Champions of the Environment grant awarded by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control in the amount of $750. The grant received was titled Insectigations Garden for Knightsville Elementary Kindergarteners.
The Knightsville Elementary Kindergarten teachers and students worked in collaboration with families and a master carpenter to transform an unused lawn area ideally situated between two kindergarten classrooms into a model Insectigations Garden. With a theme of insects, the Insectigations Garden helps to protect the environment while being a living laboratory for 220 kindergarteners to learn, experience and foster a sense of stewardship for the natural world.
The teachers have developed innovative lessons for use in this “outdoor classroom” that has brought to life the South Carolina Kindergarten curriculum for all school subjects, including science, math, reading, social studies and art. The hands-on, experiential learning opportunities that the Insectigations Garden offers has supported a variety of learning styles and abilities for all students. Every kindergarten classroom has watched caterpillars in their classroom make the transformation into butterflies. These butterflies were released into the garden containing numerous plants specific to butterfly life.
In addition, the garden has supported a much-needed educational unit on Nutrition and Healthy Living as the children grow herbs and vegetables. With the goal to help prevent childhood obesity, the garden has offered the students opportunities for outdoor exercise while teaching them the importance of eating fruits and vegetables.
Funds from the grant were used for a garden hose, hardware for wood, wood for vegetable beds, wood for storage units (for students to sit on while reading), paint, child-sized garden tools and insects (ladybugs and caterpillars). Although the grant check was received in mid-January, not all of the funds have yet been utilized, but all funds are expected to be used by the completion of the 2012-2013 school year.