Sulphur Springs Elementary School’s fourth grade classes spent last month building raised garden beds for their Discovery Garden Project. In the coming weeks, SSES is going to be raising chickens, sheep and calves and plant various crops. To fund this project, SSES took a field trip around Sulphur Springs Friday afternoon to raise awareness for their project and to procure additional sponsors.
Last month, SSES worked with Hopkins County Extension Agent Mario Villarino on a grant to help cover the initial costs of the new garden. SSES received $5,000, which covered the soil and lumber costs for the project. A plant sale was also held in early February to raise additional funding.
By the beginning of March, 15 raised garden beds had been constructed, filled with soil and readied for the planting process. The next step was to raise $1,000 in sponsorships to help purchase all the plants, feed and housing for the incoming livestock.
“Back in November, we decided that our students needed to learn how to grow their own food, eat healthier and learn about agriculture,” said SSES teacher Misty Brock. “SSES is looking for sponsors to help us purchase the vegetables needed to start our gardens. Our fourth grade classes will be planting lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, beets and onions. Our goal is to harvest the plants at the end of the semester and have a salad day.”
At 1 p.m. Friday, determined fourth graders loaded up in a school bus. They had practiced presentations about their garden project to raise sponsorship. Some of the locations they visited included Nortex Tractor, Alliance Bank and City National Bank.
Alliance Bank President and CEO Tom Sellers met with the classes at the bank on Thursday at 1:30 p.m.
“Welcome everyone. What can I do for you?” asked Sellers.
The students talked about the importance of food, where it comes from, what they had learned about agriculture thus far and why they needed sponsorship to continue the project.
“I would be happy to help the Discovery Garden Project. I graduated with an agriculture degree when I went to college and I know how important this project is to your class,” said Sellers. “Maybe when your class is finished growing your crops, I can stop by and come see you guys?”
The SSES students agreed with Sellers’ proposal and left his office, headed to their next business presentation. Once all of the sponsorship money has been raised, chickens, sheep and calves will be brought to SSES.
“We should be getting all of our animals after spring break. We will also be getting the sheep we took care of last year,” said Brock. “SSES is really starting a real farm. There are so many of our students that do not know where items like eggs come from. That’s why the SSES Discovery Garden Project is going to be so great for our students.”