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      Students go green with green thumbs

      Students in South Range Elementaryâ??s Great Explorations program are digging into a school garden.

      The garden, made with tires and up-cycled materials, is shaped into a giant jet, tying the elementary school to the high school mascot, the Jeffers Jets.

      Great Explorations director, Rachel Carpenter, said the garden is something that teaches the kids about recycling and reusing things they might normally throw away.

      â??We really like to do things that are student-led, so doing something that they really wanted to do was really important to us,â?? said Carpenter.

      And the kids were enthusiastic for their garden project.

      â??The coolest part today is digging, working, and working hard,â?? said student Henry Carpenter.

      â??Well, I like helping with the garden because itâ??s part of our school,â?? added student Alyssa Pindral.

      The kids said starting a garden isnâ??t as hard as it may seem.

      â??First, you have to get the weeds and grass out,â?? Pindral explained. â??Then, you have to shovel to make the ground softer.â??

      â??Weâ??re getting dirt, and then weâ??re putting it in tires, and then weâ??re going to plant tomatoes,â?? continued student Myles Lompre.

      â??You can make carrots and fruit and stuff,â?? said student Levin Cleveland.

      Itâ??s a long process, requiring a lot of patience, but by the end of the summer, the kids will be able to see their fruits of their labor, which will include green beans, strawberries, and squash.

      â??I think itâ??s really, really important that kids in the community know where their food comes from and know how important it is to take care of our environment,â?? Rachel said.