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Auburn Village School seventh-graders Gabby Willett and Brandon Graves have some fun with little feathered friends. (Ryan O’Connor/Union Leader Correspondent)

Auburn Village School recognizes Earth Day with celebration

AUBURN — In recognition of Earth Day this week, a group of parents and teachers, with help from the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension and UNH Master Gardener program, collaborated Thursday to hold an Earth Day celebration at Auburn Village School.

First-grader Nianna Merrill takes advantage of the garden stone painting station during the Earth Day celebration at Auburn Village School. Ryan O’Connor 

The event ties hand-in-hand with the school’s unique student-maintained garden.

“This is our third year with the school garden,” said seventh-grade teacher Wendy Smith. “The PTA originally started it, building the garden and funding the garden...we have a class of seventh-graders that work on the garden each year, but every grade level, from kindergarten to seventh grade, has garden beds out here that they grow things in and tend themselves.”

In fact, most every teacher in all eight grades at the school have made use of the garden. Educators have also used the garden for inspiration while teaching science, mathematics, history and even wood shop.

“Teachers are able to bring the kids outside more often to apply what they’re learning in a hands-on way,” said PTA member Rachel Dowd.

The vegetables grown in the garden are used in the school’s cafeteria, and kindergarteners grow strawberries and lettuce to eat right at school.

In addition, students have built garden beds, compost bins, and more that they are able to use both inside and outside the classroom.

Among other activities the PTA and seventh-graders utilized to educate younger children at the Earth Day celebration were games, face painting, garden stone painting and writing a wish on a seed and planting it.

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