It is back to school and back to Earth at Southward Elementary school. The 5th grade Green Team Pirates and their teachers are excited to start the new school year incorporating gardening, recycling, and beautification into their curriculum. As a matter of fact, this past year, the school had a vegetable garden. The principal Dr. Carl Briley, is no stranger to this style of hands on education. Briley took the shovel, and started digging setting an example to follow for his staff and students. His students cheered him on, as he tried to work the earth.

Guerra, a fifth grade bilingual teacher talked about Home Depot’s generosity. “We are glad to have Home Depot helping us with this project.,” she said.

“Best of all, it is hands on lessons, aligns with TEKS and our curriculum.” But, that is not all. The school has its own compost and recycle program.

Sandra Gonzalez, another 5th grade bilingual teacher was present with her class. Her students helped unload the vegetable plants and flowers from Home Depot’s truck. In addition, they eagerly started digging and planting.

According to Bree Harris, store manager at the local Home Depot store, their company likes to give back to the community. Home Depot is excited to be working together with Southward Elementary school and adding to their hands-on education. They donated flowers, vegetables, and materials needed for raised beds. Moreover, Home Depot’s employees engaged students with construction of the raised beds.

Southward elementary students were thrilled to be working as a team. Fifth graders Orlando Tolivar, came dressed for this class and so did Miguel Lopez who was wearing a nice hat in the sweltering Texas summer heat. Both students said they like coming outside and working as a team. Classmate Griselda Esquivel concurred. Not only does she like the team work, she likes food and wants to learn how to produce good food for her family and community.

Story and Photos by Joycelyne Fadojutimi