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JPS Board Tables Calendar Action; Hears From Garden Clubs

From left Jamestown Public Schools Board of Education Vice President Joe Pawelski, President Paul Abbott, and Superintendent Dr. Kevin Whitaker discuss business at Tuesday’s meeting. P-J photo by Michael Zabrodsky

The Jamestown Public Schools Board of Education Tuesday tabled a decision to approve the 2024-2025 board meeting calendar.

Board president Paul Abbott said the board will approve the calendar at a future meeting.

“We have discovered that we have some conflicts which could easily be resolved by alternating some of the Tuesdays. It is not going to create any difficulty. We are just going to move some dates around,” Abbott said.

The board meets on Tuesdays twice a month except in November, and July.

The board also heard presentations from Garden Clubs at Persell Middle School, Jefferson Middle School, Washington Middle School, and Bush Elementary School. The Garden Club at Jamestown High School is established, but the garden that the students use is under construction.

At Persell, Club Co-adviser and fifth grade teacher Annika Putney said students are engaged outside from March through November. Putney added that lettuce and herbs are grown all year.

“We also were fortunate enough, we got a hydroponic growing system through one of our grants. We grow lettuce and herbs all year round,” Putney said.

Putney added that during the summer, the garden is open twice a week.

“We invite families, students, and even some of the neighbors,” Putney said.

And during the summer, Putney integrates lessons about the garden.

“The students learned about the science of gardening, and the differences between beneficial and harmful insects. We investigated pollinators and learned about plant reproduction. We created lessons using art and math, and the students created paintings of flowers that were inspired by the garden, and they calculated the volume of our garden beds, so we knew how much soil we needed to purchase,” Putney said.

As previously reported in The Post-Journal, the Bush Garden Club — the first among Jamestown Public Schools elementary buildings — was established last school year following a United States Department of Agriculture Farm to School Grant that was awarded to the district and the Jamestown Public Market.

Following an initial installation of garden beds in October of 2022, six more garden beds were installed in late April of 2023 that allowed the club — made up of nearly 70 students and a dozen parent volunteers — to plant strawberries, carrots, potatoes, and lettuce in early May. Fencing also was installed thanks to a donation from retired local business owner, Carrie Wolfgang.

“This year, we have 95 students,” said Co-adviser Amy Anderson. “So, we have a Monday group and a Wednesday group, and we do it from 3 (p.m.) to 3:45 (p.m.).”

Putney said the school clubs continue to look for donations.

Abbott said all of the gardens in each school look very nice.

“I want the community to know about this (the garden clubs). It is really fantastic what you are all doing,” Abbott said.

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