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Wexford Earns US Dept. of Ed. Green Ribbon Award
Wexford Elementary School is being highlighted for earning the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Award. Wexford Elementary School Principal Kelly Gustafson, 2018 PTO Wellness Committee Chair Kristi Wees, and Garden Committee Chair Michelle Ressler, and teachers Tara Hillegas and Joanna Firman gave an up-close look at the school's garden to showcase some of the things that helped the school earn the award.
On Sept. 19, administrators, teachers, and staff members accepted the award in Washington, D.C. Former principal Rick Walsh will also travel with the group.
Students Tyler Coyne, Nyejah Ressler, and Leah Timmons shared details on how the garden is full of ripe tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, and green peppers. The students pick and donate what they collect to local food banks. Tyler helped move dir to fill the raised beds and collected leaves for composting.
Mrs. Gustafson said the award is pretty impressive and was a team effort.
“It’s pretty exciting to be able to share our story and then bring other ideas back to our own community,” she said.
Students help plant and maintain the vegetables and beds. It all is tied back into the STEAM and health curriculum.
Teacher Joanna Firmin said that the "students started realizing they were having a real impact on the community, so it wasn’t just fun for them, they were also helping out.”
Leah said her favorite part of growing vegetables was eating them, but she also "liked knowing what they’re growing at schools is being donated to the food bank and helping others."
Custodian Jerry Glevicky was instrumental in helping with many of the projects including raising the vegetable beds. Wexford was also recognized for recycling milk containers, which was started by a second-grader several years ago.
"The kids are our future," said Mrs. Ressler. "We need to expose them to build awareness and instill values and tell others about these environmental projects."
You can see the report that aired on KDKA-TV's Kidsburgh segment below or by clicking this KDKA Link.