Anderson Children's Foundation

James Monroe Elementary School

James Monroe

Butterfly/Science Garden (2018-2019)

The project will include a beautification and creation of a butterfly/zen garden. The area will be professionally landscaped and include native plants which will attract and support the monarch butterflies. In addition, the area will include walkways, benches, and a water feature. The garden will be used for a variety of purposes such as, but not limited to: class meetings, quiet reading time, students taking breaks, meditation, studying plant cycles, observing nature, observing/ recording butterfly life cycle, planting fruits and vegetables, integrating NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) STEM projects and students working in garden to help maintain it.

Establishing a school garden with students, will empower teachers yet another opportunity to create and align standard curriculum into a real-life setting. Creating enriching, standards-based curriculum would potentially allow 600+ students to hands-on engaging curriculum.

Having a school garden, will impact children's overall well-being and mental health. It will allow students the opportunity to "unplug" from technology and be present in the moment. Having a peaceful, safe area for students to retreat to will be highly beneficial for all students. The school garden will act as a place where students can connect with nature and feel calm. Many students feel the pressures of school and need a place where they can reflect and unwind from the demands of school. The school garden will allow students to interact with nature at variety of levels.

There is a need for a school garden within the school community. This beautification project will bring together the school community- including staff, parents, and most importantly students. Monroe Mustangs will take pride in this area as it can also be used as an incentive to help maintain and spend time in it. Parents will be able to volunteer in the garden and work alongside their child to create something beautiful. Parent involvement will be a critical component of sustaining and maintaining this space. This garden will build comradery among staff, students, and community by providing students a peaceful place to learn and grown in.