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Jane Griggs

Westmoreland Middle School

Grade: 7th Grade

Jane visited the Extension office to talk about a STEM program at Westmoreland Middle. Of course, we ended up talking about gardening, one of our favorite topics! She started a gardening club for students and invited me to meet the students and see the facilities. It stunned me to see what see had co-oped to get this class started - an old science lab at the back of the school building, which was also a storage room. By the time I met with the class, Jane, her students, and the resource officer had the counters, window sill, shelving, and every other available flat lighted surface green and blooming. Folks had donated old plant containers, seeds, cuttings, old plants no longer wanted. Though I didn't see one green thumb, I saw a lot of dirt-covered fingers as the students cleaned up old potted plants, and potted donated cuttings, and seeds. Jane patiently went around to help each student with his or her projects, reminding them to keep notes of plantings written in their journals. The next time I stopped in, the students were making terrariums. The next time, the tulips they were tending were ribboned as gifts to staff and faculty who had lost family members during 2021. So now, she had gently moved her students from caring for plants to caring for the folks at Westmoreland Middle School. And they were engaged in the process. Jane and her students need support to keep the gardening club class growing; to keep her students growing plants and character and love for learning.

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