By Mark Rountree
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Students at Highland Park Elementary School and Stillwater Middle School soon will be growing and eating vegetables out of their own school garden.
Funding for the gardens was made available by the Stillwater Public Education Foundation, which awarded six grants in the amount of $8,400 on Tuesday.
Highland Park teacher Starla Bilyeu was allocated $2,000 for her grant proposal, Cultivating the Curriculum. Stillwater Middle School science teacher Cathy Evans and PTA President Angela Weiser were awarded $1,500 for their project, Edible Gardens.
As part of the science curriculum at each of the schools, students will use the gardens to study the life cycles of plants, food chains and photosynthesis. At harvest, students will prepare and eat the vegetables.
“There are a lot of kids from farming (families) in our area, but not all students are aware of how food is grown,” said Weiser.
Stillwater Public Education Foundation spring grants
• The “IT” Series: The Informational Technology Series is a reusable curriculum that teaches students critical thinking and technical writing skills while they are developing technology proficiency through hands-on projects. Grant Allocation: $1,800 awarded to Denise Hall at Stillwater Middle School.
• Modeling Math with Graphing Calculators: The funds will be used to purchase 15 Texas Instruments Nspire CX graphing calculators. SHS will match the funds so that a full classroom set can be purchased. Grant Allocation: $2,100 awarded to Karen Strande at Stillwater High School.
• Writing Center Project: This project creates a writing center that will use a peer tutoring support model. Fourth- and fifth-grade students have been taught how to tutor and support each other in their writing this year and the project will be expanded to third-graders this semester. Funds will be used to purchase curriculum materials for the Center. Grant Allocation: $600 awarded to Jacqueline Iob at Will Rogers Elementary.
• Rethinking Citizenship & the American Dream: This project supports the redesign of the English III curriculum to include a hands-on integrated unit focusing on the American Dream and citizenship. Funds will be used to purchase reading materials, audio-visuals and instructional games. Grant Allocation: $400 awarded to Allisyn Mills at Stillwater High School.
• Cultivating the Curriculum: Funds will be used to create a school garden that will be used for math and science instruction by students across the elementary grades. In addition, all food grown will be harvested and prepared for the children. Grant Allocation: $2,000 awarded to Starla Bilyeu at Highland Park Elementary.
• Edible Gardens: The science classes at Stillwater Middle School will learn about plant growth by working on a vegetable garden of raised beds. Funds will be used to construct the raised garden beds. Grant Allocation: $1,500 awarded to Cathy Evans and Angela Weiser, PTA.