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Seniors benefit from the fruits of children’s gardening labour

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Elliott Primary School students, centre, donated food from their garden to the residents at Matilda Smith Williams Seniors Residence. They are pictured with home staff. (Photograph by Lisa Trott)
Elliot Primary School P6 pupils tend to their new garden (Photograph by Sarah Lagan)

Pupils at Elliot Primary School harvested vegetables from their new garden to donate to seniors on Earth Day.

The children have been growing their own herbs and vegetables since last month, thanks to donations and volunteering efforts by insurer and reinsurer Convex Re which recently adopted the school.

As well as donating food to the residents at Matilda Smith Williams Senior Residence, the pupils will also enjoy the fruits of their labour which include tomatoes, broccoli, peppers, spinach, kale, lettuce, basil and cilantro.

Kimberley Creighton, Elliot’s principal, said she wanted the children at the school to have more lessons outside and the partnership with Convex Re presented the perfect opportunity.

She said the garden not only helps the children to learn about aspects of gardening which they can integrate into their curriculum — it also teaches them about giving.

P2 pupils at Elliot Primary School tend to their garden (Photograph by Lisa Trott)

Ms Creighton said: “Convex Re approached us about adopting our school and they asked us what we hoped to do.

“We shared that we wanted to do the outdoor classrooms and get the children to ‘learn by doing’ so we talked about creating a garden. They have sponsored the materials and tools and even built the planting boxes in the shape of an ‘E’ for Elliot.

“They even laid down stepping stones and put up shades so we can have classes outside. It has been a great partnership.

“We are getting ready to harvest and some of the produce is going to Matilda Smith for the seniors. We will also make some salads and give it to each of the children during lunch break.

“They are looking at what can be planted and when, our older students are measuring the growth of the plants so there is a bit of maths and science involved. They will create graphs and charts on the rate of growth.

“It also helps them to learn about giving back to the community.”

The students shared with The Royal Gazette how they have to weed the garden and remove pests to ensure the plants stay healthy and said how much they love watching their produce grow.

Liza Mendoza, the head nurse at Matilda Smith, said the residents were very grateful for the gift.

She said: “We are a charity so we really appreciate everyone who donates medications, bedsheets and especially food. The school mentioned they will have another harvest soon and we are on top of their list.

“We usually serve fresh fruits and vegetable to our residents, they were really happy are very grateful.”

Elliot Primary School pupils tend to their new garden (Photograph by Sarah Lagan)

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Published April 23, 2022 at 7:53 am (Updated April 23, 2022 at 7:53 am)

Seniors benefit from the fruits of children’s gardening labour

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