A combined effort from students, faculty, staff, parents, and Trinity Lutheran Church volunteers are making the concept and a dream of a service garden into a reality at Trinity Lutheran School this summer. Students from Trinity Lutheran School’s Shining Stars summer care program are discovering how plants grow from seeds and small plants to large, vegetable-producing plants. They are part of the process of maintaining a healthy garden, and the students are now reaping the fruits of their labor.
This outdoor classroom has provided a great life-long learning opportunity for the Shining Stars students. The students have learned how to prepare the soil for planting, experienced planting a variety of vegetables, tended the garden by weeding and watering, and are now starting to harvest and enjoy eating the various produce. They are also learning how to prepare produce for use in cooking and baking.
The plants have come from a few key sources: the radish, carrot and sunflower plants came from Jill Schmitzer’s preschool classroom at TLS. She taught her students how to plant seeds and they watched them grow in the classroom. Several of the other plants were ordered from Trinity Lutheran School’s annual plant sale fundraiser. Approximately 50 tomato plants and 25 green pepper plants were planted, along with hot peppers, cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, cauliflower, zucchini, a variety of herbs, and more. Matt Wilshusen, an agronomist and a parent volunteer, donated a great deal of his time and knowledge for this 30’ x 70’ garden.
“This service garden is a start for us; our larger vision is to truly have a community garden to serve the community around our school and church. This has given the students a great learning laboratory to visualize how food grows and to taste the end results,” said Bill Meyer, Principal of Trinity Lutheran School. Even this year, the community will benefit from this new project. Extra produce will be donated to community organizations and food pantries.
The Shining Stars summer care program, led by Kathy Schneiderman, a TLS preschool teacher and preschool coordinator, and Karla Heuertz, Shining Stars program director, was established this summer to provide quality child care and education for children who have completed 4-year-old preschool – 5th grade in a Christ-centered environment.
Trinity Lutheran School offers quality Christian education for preschoolers – 8th grade, dedicated teachers, extra-curricular activities, including sports, music, and art, and an after-school and summer child care program in a Christian environment. For more information about Trinity Lutheran School, please call 563-322-5224, stop by the school office at 1122 West Central Park Ave., Davenport, or go to www.TrinityDavenport.org/school.