Edgar Allan Poe Classical School: You Grow Edgar Allan Poe Garden

Students: 215
Staff: 15
Mentors: Bhini Jain, Gabrielle Yates, Johnny Horton, Thomas Wassell, Jennifer Papazisi, Matthew Paolucci, Mariella Ochoa, Michelle McClendon
Project type: Outdoor Learning Space
Location: Chicago
Grade levels: Elementary School

Students and staff at Edgar Allan Poe partnered with community members to plant a garden on school grounds which will serve as a hands-on environmental learning space for years to come. They planted bushes and will add vegetable saplings and wildflowers in May. Edgar Allan Poe plans to share services with Pullman Community Garden a few blocks down from the school so all community members can contribute to and enjoy both gardens. They will also coordinate with local businesses to offer seminars on gardening and nutrition.

Edgar Allan Poe spent many months developing a clear plan for putting the garden together, including drawing up architectural plans, reviewing gardening requirements on school grounds, and finding funding. On the build day, students learned how to assemble planter beds, aerate soil, and plant bushes. Once the weather improves, they will also get the chance to plant vegetable and herb saplings in the garden, wildflower seeds around the school, and ornamental flowers in hanging planters. Edgar Allan Poe plans to incorporate maintenance and education of the gardens as part of its curriculum for all grades, and create a School Gardening Club to care for the planter beds.

“Students are eager to make decisions on how to utilize this space, not only as a hands-on learning experience but also as a place to enjoy a good book and restore health and wellness.”

Ashley Jackson, Second Grade Teacher

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