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Gardening club growing in popularity at Dellwood

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Dellwood Middle School Garden Club: Jah'nir Hill, 11, and custodian Raphael Barnett (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

A therapist believes that a new gardening club has led to positive changes in students at Dellwood Middle School.

Custodian Raphael Barnett and behavioural therapy assistant Joezine Butterfield, both of whom work at the school, started the club.

Ms Butterfield said: “[Mr Barnett] has his own garden at home, so he thought the students would be interested and would benefit from the club.”

Dellwood Middle School Gardening Club: Wendy Wilson, left, Jah'nir Hill, Chris DeSliva, Sufyaan Boukhloufi, Victor Chimbi, Joezine Butterfield and Raphael Barnett (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

It has around seven student members, who planted the garden’s first crops in November.

Vegetables growing in the 30ft-by-30ft plot include corn, scallions, curly kale, sweet potatoes and string beans, many of which have already been harvested.

Ms Butterfield said: “The children have learnt what is needed to grow vegetables, how to do so and which vegetables grow during which season.

Dellwood Middle School Garden Club (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

“It is exciting for some of them to come when they see that we are picking some of the vegetation, and they get a piece and either taste it or take it home.”

According to Ms Butterfield, all students at Dellwood, not just members of the club, value the garden.

She said: “Where the garden is, there is also a football field and a netball court, and even though there are activities going on, you can hear the children say ‘do not go in the garden’.

“I am excited that the children are learning to respect the garden and respect what we are doing.”

She added that the students are more mellow and relaxed while working in the garden.

“I am very pleased that it has had a positive impact on the students who participate in it. I like the fact that it has this impact and I hope they continue to have a gardening club.”

Dellwood Middle School custodian Raphael Barnett, who helped to start a gardening club at the school (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Dellwood Middle School Garden Club: Chris DeSliva,13 (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Dellwood Middle School Garden Club: Sufyaan Boukhloufi, 11, and Victor Chimbi, 11 (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published April 01, 2023 at 7:55 am (Updated April 01, 2023 at 10:20 am)

Gardening club growing in popularity at Dellwood

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