KERMIT – Representatives from the Williamson Health and Wellness Center recently led a gardening workshop with Ms. Allison Dotson’s third grade class at Kermit PK-8 to provide a hands on learning experience on the importance of growing food.
Dotson discussed the importance of teaching students practical life skills. “I hope that the students gain some knowledge about real life. Some of my students even came to the conclusion that they could save a lot of money by raising their own food. This was indeed an amazing hands on life skill learning experience for my students. They are excited to watch the progress of their plants and to eventually have food that we can say we grew on our own. Hopefully, they will have learned a life lesson they can take with them long into adulthood,” Dotson explained.
Maria Arnot, Director of Community Agriculture at the Williamson Health and Wellness Center, discussed the workshop stating, “Two weeks ago, my coworker, Nate Siggers and I traveled to Kermit PK-8 to lead a small workshop with Ms. Dotson’s class. I help promote healthy eating and agriculture initiatives. I coordinate a healthy eating and agriculture workshop series – to provide individuals with the resources they need to grow their own food. This can range from a wide variety of topics, but in schools I focus primarily on the basics of planting and show them how to take care of their plants. I have led similar gardening workshops before at Williamson PK-8 and Living Water Daycare.”
“In Kermit, I gave a short presentation on gardening and talked about different types of seeds and plants, the parts of a plant and how to successfully grow plants (both in pots and outdoors.) I then showed them how to plant their seeds in pots. Students were allowed to select their own seed (thanks to Ms. Dotson who provided the supplies) which included peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and radishes,” Arnot continued.
Dotson explained the workshop saying, “They talked to my students about the importance of gardening and how to maintain your garden to ensure that it is successful.”
The students at Kermit PK-8 are working in collaboration with science to complete this project. “We are collaborating with science as well as the students are beginning to have a cabbage growing contest through the Bonnie Plants Third Grade Cabbage program,” Dotson explained.
The gardening project is made possible partly because of previous volunteer efforts made at the school. “The students will be transplanting their plants this week out into our raised garden beds that Nate (Siggers) came last year and built for us in front of the school with a volunteer group,” Dotson explained. “I do plan on utilizing the raised garden beds every year,” Dotson continued.
More information about the Williamson Health and Wellness Center can be found by visiting williamsonhealthwellness.com.
(Courtney Pigman is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected], or at 304-235-4242 ext. 2279.)