BOILING SPRINGS, Pa. (WHTM) – A school district in Cumberland County is using gardens to help students with special needs grow.
Big Spring High School’s cafeteria is stocked with fresh offerings from the district’s backyard.
“We’re a rural community and I really truly thought it was important that students understood how and where their food was coming from.” said Michelle Morgan, the district’s food service director.
One garden grew into two at the district’s elementary schools. The young students care for the crops. The fruit of their labor makes it to school lunch trays; a tasty hands-on learning experience that needed more green thumbs.
“One day I thought, well, what about life skills?” Morgan said. “I thought what a great opportunity for them to go ahead and help us with this because I already have some in my kitchen. I just thought this was a great win-win.”
The life skills students agree.
“It’s fun. I like planting and stuff. Flowers. Yeah, really beautiful.” Madison Smith said.
The blossoming effect nurtures relationships through a meal made by fellow students.
“They took it downstairs to share with the students during lunch time. That was really nice to see that they were interacting with the students, and the students were taking what they had and enjoying the produce,” teacher’s aide Lonnie Fahnestock said.
Students in the life skills program recently harvested neck pumpkins. They’ll use the puree to make pumpkin bars for fellow students.
A new produce stand will be up and running in the spring. The life skills students will manage it. They are inviting you to stop by and stock up.