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“”LA CROSSE, Wis., (May 13, 2022) – Students in Mariah Bigelow’s class at Coulee Montessori and Amoreena Rathke’s class at Northside Elementary School will continue to use their green thumbs, creativity, and business savvy this week as they work to add new swings to the school.

The teachers’ classrooms currently house over 700 house plants, vegetable plants, and flowers for the sale. Students have been planting, propagating, and caring for the plants and have exceeded their original goal of having up to 400 house plants ready to sell at the school’s first community plant sale this week (May 13, 3:00-6:00 p.m. and 14, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Students also created rock art, macrame plant holders, and fertilizer for the sale. Proceeds from the event will help fund new playground swings at the school.

The skills needed to make the project successful come in large part from knowledge gained during the class’ botany unit. The botany unit gives students scientific insight into how particular plants have different light, water, and space needs. Life-long skills of self-sufficiency and entrepreneurship have also been strengthened as the students learn about supply and demand, operating expenses, and profit. During the sale, students will also be involved with restocking inventory and sharpening their customer service and communication skills as they interact with shoppers.

“To us, this project is about community,” said Coulee Montessori teacher Mariah Bigelow. “We hope students gain an appreciation and understanding for the hard work that goes into starting and running a business. We hope they gain pride in the responsibility and effort it took to care for these plants as well as working together as a class to reach a goal. There is also an equity component, especially since we have a food desert around the school with few places within walking distance to purchase food. The skills and knowledge students learned when growing vegetables from seed will be useful for their entire lives.”“”””[vc_gallery type=”flexslider_slide” interval=”0″ images=”20585,20586,20587,20588,20589,20590,20591,20592,20593,20594,20595,20596,20599,20600,20601″ img_size=”625×417″]””