In 2017, Bethke Elementary in Katy was awarded a $10,000 Expanding the 3E’s Grant from the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA). Grant funds were used to establish a learning garden for students. The garden was designed to give all grade levels ownership over the items they chose, all the way from planting through harvesting. The learning opportunities in this elementary garden include activities planned to enrich science, math, social studies and language arts classes. Bethke Elementary parents participating in Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) nights will also have an opportunity to engage with the garden and experience the joy of harvesting. Eight months after receiving the grant, the project is taking shape. The first step completed was establishing a garden committee that will provide ongoing input from different groups within the school, including students, teachers and parents.
Bethke Elementary broke ground on their new gardens October 14, 2017, with help from many community members. Students, including volunteers from middle and high schools, teachers, staff, parents, and others contributed 450 hours to getting the project off the ground. Even with delays caused by Hurricane Harvey, the project is on track for success. You can follow the progress of the Bethke Elementary Garden on Twitter @BethkeGarden.