STORY BY BRIANNA WIGGINS & MYJA MILLER, FNN REPORTERS, WOODRIDGE BUREAU. PHOTO BY RICTOR CRAIG
APRIL 22, 2014. Woodridge had the opportunity and pleasure to take five of our 5th grade scholars to the White House to be a part of the 6th Annual White House Garden Planting with First Lady Michelle Obama on April 2! She spent well over an hour with our scholars talking to them about the importance of healthy living, eating and the importance of school gardens. The students were so excited to be able to ask her questions and plant in the garden along side of her.
“I had such a phenomenal time,” says 5th grader Khalelah McCollum. “We were able to meet the first lady and learn more about a variety of vegetables and pollination”.
I asked 5th grader Brandon Garcia what he will remember most and he stated, “meeting the first lady and getting the opportunity to plant flowers along with thirty other kids from around the city”.
The Woodridge scholars who went on the trip were chosen because they were in the top five of their fifth grade class. “It’s really cool to be rewarded for all of the hard work put into school and to be able to go out and do something fun with our first lady Michelle Obama!” said Khalelah.
Gardens are being integrated into the educational curriculum to teach children not only about plants, nature and the outdoors, but other subjects as well. Teachers and administrators are realizing that gardens can teach children about history, economics, poetry and math, but are still primarily used for teaching science. It really is a beautiful concept that everyone can come together and do. It’s something positive, even if it’s a slow change or something seemingly small. It definitely goes a long way in helping out the school and community.
This year's crop at the White House will once again include favorites like spinach, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, fennel, Swiss chard, several kinds of lettuce, as well as two kinds of wheat—a new addition for 2014. Once again, Woodridge’s Eagles soar to new heights that land them on the grounds of the White House.
Myja Miller and Brianna Wiggins are 7th grade scholars at Friendship Woodridge Academy.