PSJA ISD promotes sustainability through DIY Garden Toolkits for families
22 toolkits given to families as part of district’s new 'Grow With Us' Initiative
PHARR- Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD recently distributed gardening toolkits valued at more than $200 each, to 22 families. The toolkits are part of the district's efforts to promote sustainability during distance learning as part of its new "Grow With Us" initiative.
To be selected for these toolkits, students had to submit a video expressing why they and their families were interested in starting a garden and where they would place it.
“We want to provide opportunities for our students to continue to keep them engaged and learning from home even during the summer months,” said PSJA Superintendent Dr. Jorge L. Arredondo. “These gardens will help them learn important lessons and the value of growing their own food while creating special bonds with their families.”
The selected recipients received materials sponsored by Holchemont and American Contracting USA, and plants were donated by Sabino Family Farms. Materials were distributed by the PSJA Operations Division and included wood, screws, soil, and plants.
“During this pandemic, this work illuminates hope and wonder in placing life into the ground and seeing it grow,” said PSJA Chief of Operations Nick Martinez. “Thank you to our donors, maintenance department, child nutrition team, and construction section, for making this possible for our students and their families."
At PSJA ISD students get to learn about sustainability and environmental awareness through their curriculum and extracurricular organizations. Many get to learn about nature and the environment through outdoor classrooms that feature native habitat gardens. The district hopes the "Grow With Us" Initiative helps these efforts continue from home despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
For Derek Mercado, a 4th-grade student at Carmen Anaya Elementary, the food shortages because of the COVID-19 pandemic made him and his family realize the importance of sustainability.
“I have always wanted to grow my own garden," said Mercado. "I want to help the environment, so bees don’t go extinct, protect our trees, and because of the Coronavirus I want to stay home and eat my own vegetables. Thank you to PSJA for inspiring me to do this.”