Laird’s School Garden Flourishes with Community Donation
Laird School will be looking a little more green thanks to a generous donation by Intel. The renowned technology company recently awarded Laird with a $4,800 grant to expand their school garden. The Laird Garden Grant was one of six grants that Intel awarded to local schools and non-profit organizations this year.
More than 30 Intel employees volunteered to build garden beds, plant seeds, and engage with Laird students and staff on Friday, March 3. In total, volunteers helped build 11 garden beds and moved over 14 tons of dirt to fill each one. They also built a shed to house Laird’s garden equipment.
For every hour that Intel employees volunteered, Laird received an additional $10 toward their grant. This summer, Laird will receive another $1,700 from the volunteer hours from this project.
Our local Lowe’s also showed support toward the Laird School garden by donating tomato, pepper, onion, mint, and jalepeño plants. With the help of TD3’s Maintenance Technician Matt Black, Laird was able to ensure irrigation worked and was sufficient enough for the plants.
Intel’s Global Engineering and Planning Manager Bill Bennett wrote the grant proposal that was awarded to Laird’s garden. A friend of Laird Assistant Principal Edward Goldstein, Bennett recognized the benefits that the school garden would have for students.
“The goal is to have teachers and students use the garden as a place of learning and exploration,” said Goldstein. “There are many exciting projects planned.”
The grant proposal included plans for Laird to partner up with the Arizona Head Start Association (AHSA) and a nearby senior center to get community members of all ages involved with the growth and expansion of the school garden. Laird Kindergarten Teacher Ashley Erwin has made great use of the garden already with her classroom’s salsa garden project, aligned with Project Based Learning (PBL) standards.
“Students and teachers are very excited about it,” said Goldstein. “Second-graders have just started a bean garden and going out weekly to measure them and do investigations.”
The Laird School Garden will surely grow many plants as well as smiles as our school and members from the community come together for activities and projects. Thank you to our community partners, staff, teachers, and students who have made the garden a success!