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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET mistakes. And they do make mistakes. We know of many instances where someone pulled up the plants someone else had carefully planted, thinking they were weeds. A school garden works best if everyone knows about the garden and feels comfortable enough to guide the children in pulling up weeds when they crop up or checking the leaves of the plants for insects. We also stress to teachers that while it is okay for them to feel uncomfortable around insects and other creatures, it is not okay to pass their fear on to children. For instance, a teacher should not say, “Worms are disgusting,” or “That bug is icky.” And teachers should never kill a creature and should always teach a child not to do so. A teacher who is fearful could say, “I feel uncomfortable around worms, but I am trying to learn to feel more comfortable.” By being honest about feeling uncomfortable, the teacher acknowledges what is true and may be obvious to the child. By saying he is trying to learn to feel more comfortable, the teacher shows the child that even adults have room for growth. Most of the schools we know that have a school garden have at least one staff member or parent who is passionate about nature and gardening. This person often becomes the natural leader, and cheerleader, of the garden proj- ect. Their enthusiasm and expertise will naturally inspire and energize the group. For Saint Michael School in Schererville, Indiana, this cheerleader was Dyana Butcher. As the school secretary, this Master Gardener could see the potential learning opportunities and positive benefits of having a school gar- den in an asphalt-filled courtyard behind the school. She determined to make her dream of a school garden a reality. This is her story: Right before our open house in January, I asked the principal if I could make a sign and post it in the gym where all the parents gathered for the book fair. It was a brown tree with apples on the branches. At the top, the lettering said, “Help Our Garden Grow.” Each apple had the name of something we needed for our garden, including three bags of potting soil, a hose, a planter box, garden tools, and a “friendship plant,” which meant a division of one of their own perennials. Parents picked apples and asked when the supplies were needed. The word was out. We moved the sign to the front hallway by the office. A gentleman came in one day and saw the sign and said if we paid him for the wood, he would make the planter boxes. We also had containers donated—a child’s yellow dump truck, an owl planter, and a ladybug planter. In March, K–3 students, with the help of fourth and fifth graders, planted their seeds in starter containers. These were cared for in their classrooms. Planters arrived, and we placed them outside. When visi- tors came, we showed them the garden space, and we started to get interest from places of business where parents visited or worked. In May the students planted their seed plants and flowers that were donated by two area farmers. On the school picnic day, the students came outside and painted their own designs on the wooden planters. Flowers were planted, in containers of all kinds, as well as COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL Why Garden? • 19