Students grow veggies, helping others

- Third-graders at Fort Concho Elementary School celebrated the first days of spring by planting vegetables Monday. The event is sponsored by the Texas Hunger Initiative, which has its first West Texas meeting Thursday.

"I feel joyful if they like it. But, if they don't, I feel kind of bad," stated student Bella Crescioni.

For 8-year-old Bella Crescioni, seeing someone else enjoy the squash, pepper, and corn she grows in the Fort Concho Garden is a big treat. But, to her third-grade teacher, Alyson Sandlin, it is all about helping others.

"It's to educate the children. But, it's also to teach them how to help others. That's a big push in our school to give back to our community," explained Sandlin. "There's lots of math and science that goes along with it. But, it's also a social thing to teach them how to help their neighbor."

Whenever the vegetables in the garden are ready, students can either take some home or give them to others. Sandlin said gardening is a good way for students to fight obesity and feed the hungry in the community.

"We have a problem with kids not eating healthy. We have a lot of obesity and nutrition issues....eating healthy is one of the best ways to do that. But, eating healthy is also expensive. So, if we can provide inexpensive ways for families to feed their children healthy food...then I think that's a good thing," continued Sandlin.

Sandlin said the school stepped up after seeing the need for healthy food in the neighborhood.

"The need for the families in our neighborhood to have healthy food. Gardens are an inexpensive way to do that," finished Sandlin.

Students are hoping the fruits of their labor- or rather the vegetables of their labor- will go a long way toward helping others for months to come.

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