2017-10-19 / Front Page

Iris Garden Club hosts ‘No Child Left Inside’ at W-WPS

By ELIZABETH CRABBE


Students enjoy singing along and participating as Laura Connely provided music and storytelling at the swing. Students enjoy singing along and participating as Laura Connely provided music and storytelling at the swing. The Iris Garden Club, partnering with the administration and faculty of the W-W Primary School hosted “No Child Left Inside” early this month at the school’s Outdoor Classroom/Wildlife Watch. No Child Left Inside is a program designed to enhance the primary age earth science curriculum and allows children outdoor sessions with professional experts in various fields.

Approximately 500 students and their teachers participate in the event each year. The program also combines music and art to expand young students’ earth science experiences.

This year the subjects that were emphasized were:

1. Herb Art with Master Gardener Belinda Peeples and Jimmy Peeples in the herb garden. The raised beds in this garden were built and planted about two years ago. Recently, the area was expanded by Ms. Peeples with the help of the second-grade primary school students. The students learned about the uses of herbs from Farmer Herb and made painted imprints of rosemary stems and discussed the uses and scents of other types of herbs. A clothesline displaying the finished artwork was also featured in this section.


County Agent Michael Foster showed what many types of animal footprints look like in the sand. County Agent Michael Foster showed what many types of animal footprints look like in the sand. 2. Soil types with soil expert Jason Wheatley, allowing the children to understand the types of Georgia’s geological soil layers. The students got to sample by touch sand, silt, and clay and learned about the imcost portance of soil nutrients and the use of an auger.

3. Animal footprints in the sand box hosted by County Agent Michael Foster and assistant Sherrer Shelnutt using a pre-formed footprint kit that shows children the types of animals that may be present in a southern wildlife setting. After examining the types of footprints the students studied many types of animal skulls, antlers, and turtle shells and learned about the characteristics of identification for different animals;


Washington-Wilkes Primary School students got to create works of art out of various herbs they had studied. Washington-Wilkes Primary School students got to create works of art out of various herbs they had studied. 4. Trees hosted by Master Gardeners Terry and Judy Boswell, Chairman Ginny King and Forester Jenny Reville taught the children about the different varieties of tress in the southern landscape, why they are important, and the different methods for identification by learning about bark, leaf types, and scent. They also discussed the uses of trees in everyday life and the reason for the importance of trees. Tree cookies were explained illustrating the tree rings and ages of a pine tree. Smokey the Bear also made a morning appearance and led a discussion about fire suppression in the forest.


Magnifying glasses provided up-close looks at some of the outdoor things found in the Outdoor Classroom. Magnifying glasses provided up-close looks at some of the outdoor things found in the Outdoor Classroom. 5. A teacher-led activity in the pavilion where the students played games, colored, and read stories.

6. Music and storytelling by the swing with guitarist Laura Connely who had music appropriate to autumn outdoor activities.

Special signs designed by Gina Holloway are a new addition to the property and help direct students and teachers to the various areas in the garden. Holloway is a co-manager of the Redland Motel and sign maker for Durhamtown. She also worked in Iraq as a sign shop supervisor. Her work in the outdoor classroom has updated and clarified the sections of the garden to make it easy for students and teachers to identify the various areas. Recently, a federal grant was offered to the W-W Primary School to add a vegetable garden that will be managed by the students, teaching them where their food comes from and providing them with more hands-on outdoor experiences.

Other areas in the Outdoor Classroom/ Wildlife Watch include a welcome garden, a wetland pond, a wildflower meadow planted by the students, a butterfly/pollinator garden, a rock garden, amphitheater style seating, a weather station, and a grape arbor.

The Outdoor Classroom is managed by the maintenance staff of W-WPS with assistance of the Iris Garden Club. Chaired by Ginny King, the Outdoor Classroom committee oversees and maintains various areas of the property. Along with the faculty and staff of W-WPS, the Garden Club members who attended and assisted in this year’s event were Ginny King, Belinda Peeples, Deborah Bennett, Paula Butts, Elizabeth Crabbe, Judy Boswell, Diane Jordan, Linda Anthony, Cissy Rogers, Carolyn Reynolds, Marcia Delaney, Jane Bundy, and Debbie Holes. Community volunteers who assisted were Jennifer McAvoy and Jimmy Peeples. Volunteers who provide regular assistance to the Iris Garden Club and to this event include

Skeet Willingham, Jesse King, Todd Blackmon, Terry Boswell, and Richard Crabbe.

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