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Cultivating Minds and Gardens: Lew Wallace Elementary School 107’s Garden Club

At Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS), we believe that engaging students in hands-on learning experiences is key to nurturing a deep appreciation for the environment. As part of our Earth Day series, we’re thrilled to showcase the incredible garden club at Lew Wallace Elementary School 107.

Under the guidance of Jodie Posha, a dedicated teacher with over 15 years of experience, the school’s garden has become a true outdoor classroom. With three plantings throughout the year – summer, spring, and fall – students have the opportunity to witness the full life cycle of plants. The garden features a pollinator garden, raised bed reading area, and even two serviceberry bushes, providing a diverse and engaging learning environment.

For the past six years, the garden club has been an integral part of Lew Wallace Elementary School 107. Currently, 5th graders are using the garden as part of their class project, learning valuable lessons about plant care, ecology, and sustainability. The produce grown in the garden is taken home by students, encouraging them to share their knowledge and experiences with their families.

Through hands-on activities like starting seeds, maintaining beds, weeding, and harvesting, students develop a deeper understanding of the natural world. Writing activities and handouts further enhance their knowledge of plants, pests, and nutrition. Bryani proudly showed off the lima beans and radishes she grew in starter cells, while Angelique shared a picture of the lettuce sprouts she started at home, demonstrating the far-reaching impact of the garden club.

The garden club’s impact on students is evident in their enthusiasm and appreciation for nature. Arlie, a student, shared, “Playing in the garden is fun and helps the community.” Another student, Alexa, expressed her excitement, saying, “In garden club, you learn, have oranges, and see vegetables.” Loissa summed it up perfectly: “It’s fun and can help the community. I like smelling the fruits and nature… colors and flowers… Everything about garden club!”

As we celebrate Earth Day throughout this week, it’s inspiring to see the dedication of educators like Jodie Posha and the enthusiasm of students at Lew Wallace Elementary School 107. By cultivating minds and gardens, they are planting the seeds for a greener, more sustainable future.