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Chesterville Students Enhance Community Through Garden Project
Chesterville Students Enhance Community Through Garden Project
Posted on 06/24/2024
CPS Garden Project

June 24, 2024 (Chesterville, ON) — The Grade 4/5 class from Chesterville Public School (CPS) gathered last week to launch their collaborative garden project with the food bank at the United Church and their community garden. This initiative, which began with a simple food drive, has blossomed into a multi-faceted effort to enhance the social and emotional well-being of the local community.

The project originated in February 2024 with a food drive spearheaded by the kindergarten team. Inspired by the enthusiastic participation of students, the Grade 4/5 class decided to expand efforts in collaboration with the local food bank. Christine Cross from the Food Bank visited the classrooms to discuss the community's needs, sparking a range of creative ideas among the students.

“We started with a focus on collecting food items, but the kids quickly realized they wanted to do more than just fill shelves,” said Robyn Carrière, Grade 4/5 Teacher. “Their ideas ranged from learning to crochet and making items for the community, to constructing buddy benches and enhancing local spaces with art.”

Ultimately, the students concentrated their efforts on two main projects: building buddy benches and planting a community garden. These projects were designed to create welcoming, inclusive spaces that foster social connections and emotional support.

Project Highlights:

  • Buddy Benches: Constructed with materials donated by St. Lawrence College, these benches were built and stained by the students in the college’s mobile trailers. The benches now serve as a symbol of friendship and support in the community.
  • Community Garden: Located behind the church, this large garden was established with seeds and plants donated by BMR in Winchester and CPS students. The garden is intended to provide fresh produce for the food bank and community members, and serve as a gathering space for the community.

“I have never seen such a committed group of young people. They are amazing and absolutely community-minded,” said Cross. “They know they’re making a difference, and they want to make a difference.”

Looking ahead, the students have numerous ideas for expanding the project next year, including creating a "tree of helping hands" and adding artwork to the entrance of the building. They are also exploring the possibility of working with local orchards to provide fresh fruit.

“The enthusiasm and creativity they’ve shown is truly inspiring. This project has been about more than just the physical tasks; it’s been about learning the value of community and the impact they can have,” said Carrière.

For more information, please contact:

April Scott-Clarke
Manager of Communications
Upper Canada District School Board
[email protected]

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