Lorraine celebrates the FHS Greenhouse Project as part of the NJ Sustainable Schools Initiative, Headed By VP Rod Brundidge
This year FHS is on a mission to become a sustainable school, and to make sure its students are enriched both in and out of the classroom. Students may have noticed Mr. Brundidge, the Class of 2022 Vice Principal, working on the raised garden beds in the courtyard. Ms. Sharma worked very closely with him and has gotten her club, the Asian Awareness club heavily involved in the project. He’s also cleaned up the Greenhouse over the winter with the help of Asian Awareness club members, Custodian, Mr. Rivera, Mrs. Sharma and Dr. Yi. They planted different types of both vegetables and flowers.
This project is part of the NJ Sustainable Schools Initiative, a voluntary program for public schools in the state of New Jersey that helps and recognizes schools which execute sustainable initiatives to prepare students for obstacles in the future. Franklin High School is currently working toward being certified as a New Jersey Sustainable School; to do this we have to have 150 points on their scale through school-wide recycling, programs to promote physical activity, gardening projects, and more.
After cleaning out the greenhouse, planting new vegetables, and flowers, those involved continued to nurture the greenery until they were able to transfer them into the raised garden beds built by Mr. Brundidge with the help of some students. The money for the garden beds was donated by the Asian Awareness Club and the science department. The soil was then donated to the project by a local nursery. The local nursery also provided students with great advice and suggestions. The same students who were involved from the very beginning and will continue to until the very end. The students that have been involved in the process will be able to harvest these plants once they are ready; they put the sweat and tears into this and, through this process, they learned the value of hard work.
Not only does this project teach students the value of sustainability. Students from the Asian Awareness club also sold twenty-six plants, which interested even more students for the initiative. The garden is what you can call a “living classroom” for it teaches lessons as simple as where our food comes from to complex lessons such as resource management, nutrition and healthy lifestyles and so much more. It also teaches them the value of math skills, self-reliance, and the value of community.
This project wouldn’t have been made possible if it weren’t for the collaboration of the Asian Awareness club, Mr.Brundidge, Ms.Sharma, Dr. Yi, Mrs. Puglio, the science department, and other staff members. Whatever is left over from the garden after everything is harvested will be donated to the food bank here in Franklin, so that the less fortunate can also have the opportunity to enjoy healthy and sustainable food.
The mission statement for this initiative is something that truly does correlate with what has been done so far for this greenhouse/garden project; it states, “The Franklin High School Green Team is committed to creating and maintaining operational excellence, system efficiencies, enhancing the school’s environment and conserving energy on the campus. The Green Team will encourage the Franklin High School community to appreciate and preserve the natural environment by playing a visible role in support of environmental sustainability.” Mr. Brundidge, Ms. Sharma, Mrs. Puglio, Dr. Yi and their team have done Franklin High School a great service bringing this project to fruition.
Mr. Brundidge realized that there is a lot of student interest in this project and plans to release a sign up sheet before the end of the school year, so that next school year many more students can be involved in the project. Stay tuned for those updates.