Bringing New Life to Lincoln Elementary Through Collaborative Garden Effort

Wittenberg’s Sociological Perspectives of Education class, taught by education professor Amy McGuffey, is tackling its latest collaborative project, creating and building a garden at Lincoln Elementary School.

“Our plan is to design, create and implement a beautiful sign to put outside of the school garden, and we want it to be a sign that will last a long time and be something that the kids are proud of,” Samantha Watson, ’19, said.

Though the sign is only one step of the project, McGuffey’s class is working with fifth and sixth grade students at Lincoln Elementary to create a lasting impression on the outside of the school.

This project, which started in early October, is nearing its completion at the end of the fall semester. Although the garden is still mostly in its early stages, the class, along with the elementary students, are excited for the end result.

At the beginning of the project, McGuffey’s class split into three groups, each with its own separate assignments and planning and designing stages.

“One group is creating a menu and making food to be served at a ‘Learning Café.’ Another group is creating a ‘sensory garden’ outside the back of the school and the last group is creating a sign to put by the garden to mark [and] introduce the garden,” Abigail Crum, ’19, said.

Both Watson and Crum are working in the third group, focusing on the completion of the garden sign. Both also share their students’ excitement over the phase the project is currently in.

“After we explained the project, the students starting designing the sign and talking about what type of designs they liked,” Watson said.

Together, Wittenberg’s college students and Lincoln’s elementary students are embracing the motto of Wittenberg University through off-campus interaction.

“Each group has a specific goal, but the overall class goal is to finish all of our projects and try to be good role models for the students and shine light on them,” Watson said. “This really embraces Witt’s motto of ‘Having light, we pass it on [to others].’”

To start this project, the class learned about Project Based Learning (PBL), which takes a different approach to how students learn. Instead of using a textbook or sitting through a lecture, these children at Lincoln Elementary are learning through the involvement and completion of the school garden, a.k.a PBL.

McGuffey’s class will give in-class presentations regarding the results of their partnership with the students toward the end of the semester. These fifth and sixth grade children will showcase their final project on Dec. 9, unveiling all of the hard work both elementary school and college students put into the completion of the project.

The sign, as well as the garden, will be on display on the outside of Lincoln Elementary for all to enjoy, especially these elementary school children.

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