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A special series showcasing the places YOUR donations go!

Last fall generous donors like YOU allowed LEF to award a Campus Excellence Grant to College Street Elementary School (CSE) for their project, “The Garden of Learning: Where Leaders Grow.”

Science is one of the subjects covered by STAAR tests given to students in 5th grade. Students are required to understand structures and functions of living organisms. They are also expected to demonstrate mastery of describing, planning, and investigating simple experimental investigations. It’s hard to teach that with a text book and a worksheet. “These are standards that

can only be mastered through real-world, hands-on experiences,” CSE Principal Susan Heintzman told LEF. But it happens naturally in a garden!

“The implementation of The Garden of Learning: Where Leaders Grow has been very successful this year at CSE,” Heintzman said. “We had a campus build day where multiple families and staff members came up to assemble the gardens together. This portion of the project was seamless and efficient due to the synergy of the volunteers. The staff, students, and local CSE community are excited about the garden because of its relevance and manageability.

“In addition to academic connections our students are making every day in the garden, this project has also helped CSE strengthen relationships with families,” Heintzman continued. “On the campus build day, several families mentioned that they have their own gardens at home for growing vegetables and herbs. Their children are able to share knowledge learned at home with their peers, and we are able to relate to families on a topic of high interest to them. The Campus Excellence Grant we received has changed the way our students interact with the outdoors and has been one of the most powerful experiences our staff has witnessed as educators.”

Thank YOU! Without your support of the students and teachers of LISD through your partnership with LEF, where would these leaders grow?