Maine’s Positive Story of the Day from Somerset Elementary School in Hartland~
Kids Are Great!
Somerset Elementary School launched a new outdoor learning and gardening program in 2021. Setting up new infrastructure and launching a garden program is a massive project, and the fourth graders dove right in. The school decided to start with seven raised beds in front of the newly constructed “PAWvilion” (outdoor learning classroom) to represent each grade in the building. First, the students worked on figuring out how to assemble the raised beds and determined how much space would be needed. Next, the students drafted, voted on, and selected a site plan for the location of each bed. After that, the students worked with the school’s Northeast Farm To School Institute Coach, Ryan Parker and teacher, Jennifer Massow, to mulch the area, build the beds, and prepare them for spring planting. This was a two day project. The students used all of the recycled cardboard from the school to mulch the area. They then assembled each bed in teams and filled the beds with soil and compost. In the spring, each grade level will add plantings to the beds built by our fourth graders. The student involvement makes this project a piece of P.R.I.D.E. for Somerset Elementary.