(SALEM) - Salem Community Schools have received a $10,000 grant from agricultural company Monsanto for its new project, Putting Down Roots, which will focus on working with students to plant trees.
The school hopes this will not only teach students about being stewards of the environment, but will teach standards and leadership as well.
Kate Wehlann of the Leader-Democrat reports that the school owns a 60-acre plot of land between the school and the YMCA and will use six acres of that land for an arboretum.
John Calhoun, a science teacher and who helps oversea the project says, students will use the plot to mostly native hardwood trees, The first part of the project is clearing the land this month of non-native plant species and begin planting in March and April.
Calhoun says about half of the grant money will go to purchasing trees and bushes to plant, and to buy and rent equipment to clear the land and plant the trees. Calhoun said the rest of the funds will go toward the educational side of things, just as Monsanto and the school planned.
Arnold said that the younger students will use the program to complete various standards in math and science, including measuring and GPS work. The older students will focus on leadership and becoming activists for what they believe in.
Some high school students will also take a trip to Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Mich. to visit Salem High School alumna Ranessa Cooper, who has served as the Board of Women Commissioners Chair in Botany, associate professor of biology and the director of the Slayton Arboretum.
Jackie Arnold, Salem's director of Assessment and Program Improvement credits the farmers who nominated the school for the grant with the school's being chosen as a recipient.
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