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A New Learning Environment: Breaking Ground on Grant Projects

Students can choose to leave organic food waste in the bins located in the Cafeteria. The food waste will be used in the composter.

AnneMarie Bretz, a first-grade teacher at Poplin Elementary, is one of two Poplin teachers who received a grant from the Union County Education Foundation in October 2014. Bretz’s mini-grant of $500 will be used to create a Land Lab. Bretz says, “We will use this seed money to begin to create a unique learning environment at Poplin. We are going to create a bird blind, bird and butterfly feeders, and a compost area.” Bretz hopes the Poplin school community will participate in creating and maintaining this new learning environment. It is going to need soil, rocks, plants, flowers, and trees. Bretz says she hopes that this fund will be used to provide the vegetation needed for birds and butterfly to hide and feed.

In December 2014, Bretz got approval to “break ground” for the project. She ordered and received a composter and has begun teaching students at Poplin how to reduce food waste and turn organic leftovers from lunch into new soil for the Poplin garden. Bins for the composter are now in the school cafeteria and students can choose to place organic leftovers into it. This is providing the whole school community with a chance to learn about the environment, composters, soil, and the Land Lab. If you are interested in finanically supporting this project Bretz has set up a Go Fund Me opportunity - http://www.gofundme.com/Poplinlandlab.

Cheryl Tresher, a kindergarten teacher, also received a $500 grant. Tresher’s grant consisted of a plan of action to build awareness of our common core and continued classroom improvement initiative. Kindergarten parents will be given ideas/strategies to use at home to prepare and help build the foundation for lifelong learning as well as to plant the seed of exploration for future educational and career goals. Literacy celebrations will be offered to kindergarten families. Make and take activities will be developed that can be used at home to build strong readers and writers. Books will be provided for students to add to their home library. Tresher said, “I am so excited that I received this grant which comes from private donations around the community.”


Written by: Beth Medlin, Media Coordinator
Posted: Jan 23, 2015 by Beth Medlin

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