Grant Helps School Build Greenhouse

Grant Helps School Build Greenhouse
A group of teachers and parents were busy last Friday building a new greenhouse for Showell Elementary School. Photo by Charlene Sharpe

SHOWELL – A new greenhouse is expected to provide students with a variety of learning opportunities at Showell Elementary School.

On a day when most students were enjoying summer vacation, a handful of teachers and parents gathered at Showell Elementary to assemble the school’s new greenhouse. The project was made possible through a grant from Lowe’s of Salisbury.

“It has a lot of potential,” teacher Liz Scott said.

Scott, a special education teacher, learned about the community programs offered by Lowe’s from another local teacher and decided to pursue a Lowe’s grant to benefit Showell Elementary. She was thrilled when the company awarded the school a $2,000 grant to purchase a greenhouse as well as the materials for several raised beds for planting. The store even offered to send employees to help assemble the greenhouse.

“Lowe’s has a really cool program which I don’t think people give them enough credit for,” Scott said.

On Friday, staff from the Salisbury Lowe’s, teachers and members of Showell’s parent-teacher association gathered at the school. As directed by the architect planning the new Showell Elementary School set to be built in the future, they erected the greenhouse in a shady spot well away from any potential construction area.

Scott said there were already several ideas on ways to incorporate the greenhouse into curriculum at Showell.  In addition to the obvious lessons on gardening, she expects the structure to teach kids about growing their own food and taking ownership of a project.

“We want them to have social responsibility,” she said.

Scott said she was consulting with a master gardener about what to grow but that students will have a say in the matter. Each grade level will be responsible for one raised bed.

“They’ll get to vote on what they want to grow,” she said.

Students will be invited to visit the greenhouse during Showell’s annual Back to School Night, during which they’ll also be asked to vote on a name for it. When school starts Sept. 5, students will each be tasked with decorating a stone to be placed outside the greenhouse.

“We envision it being an every year, welcome back activity,” said Kate Hulme, a member of the PTA.

She said the parent-teacher association was eager to lend its support to the project. She said parents appreciated the fact that a greenhouse could be worked into so many potential lessons.

“There are so many different aspects to it,” she said. “It can tie in to science or nutrition and it gives kids a chance to work outside.”

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.