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HomeNewsBurt Elementary School receives $5,000 Grant from Lowe’s for Outdoor Learning Space

Burt Elementary School receives $5,000 Grant from Lowe’s for Outdoor Learning Space

Clarksville-Montgomery County School System - CMCSSMontgomery County, TN – Clarksville Montgomery County School Systems has announced that Burt Elementary School has received a $5,000 Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant for their outdoor classroom project. This grant and support from Lowe’s on Madison Street is providing students with life lessons that connect with their curriculum.  

“The inspiration for implementing these gardens at Burt developed from our desire to create an outdoor space that would allow hands-on learning opportunities for our students who might otherwise never have a chance to dig in the dirt, plant a seed, and watch it grow,” stated Haven Bowles, school counselor and co-coordinator of the outdoor learning space.

Haven Bowles teaching students to plant
Haven Bowles teaching students to plant

Burt’s project includes four raised garden beds, each with a theme, that provide students hands-on experiences with nature. The themes include a sensory garden, pollinator garden, pizza garden, and victory garden.

Each garden provides unique learning experiences, bringing STEM, social studies, language, visual arts, and other subjects to life for Burt students.

According to Angie Salamy, librarian and co-coordinator of the outdoor learning space, “Each grade level has already done some work in the gardens. I hope students learn that we can grow our own food and work hard to achieve something beautiful, but that we have to care for it diligently. It should be a point of pride for every student.”

Angie Salamy helping students in garden
Angie Salamy helping students in garden

Salamy and Bowles worked together to write the Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant, and they have worked together with other community partners to make their vision a reality for students.

“While our students help maintain the gardens, this is truly a community effort,” stated Salamy. “Montgomery County Co-op donated shovels and plants. Kelly Spurgeon, Kim Hollis, Brookie Myers, Amy Palmer, and Debbie McDonald are faculty and staff who volunteered to build the beds. Our custodian Gwen checks on the garden several times a week and waters it as needed.”

The raised garden beds are just the first step in Bowles and Salamy’s vision for the outdoor learning space. The space and their vision will continue to grow just like the students’ gardens.

“Working together in our school garden teaches students about responsibility and teamwork. My hope is that there will be a feeling of community and school pride that will come from students taking ownership of the garden and watching it grow,” stated Bowles.

For more information on Lowe’s Toolbox for Education, check out www.toolboxforeducation.com


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