Hands-On Learning for Gleason Pre-K

Gleason Students Learn More About Environment Thanks to Community Support
Posted on 11/04/2020
This is the image for the news article titled Gleason Students Learn More About Environment Thanks to Community SupportSherri Brawner's pre-kindergarten class in Gleason took learning about the environment outside on Election Day and got hands-on learning courtesy of a local business.

The cool autumn Tuesday made for great conditions for the young students to really “dig” into their studies.

Joe Baumgartel of Steele Plant Farms and father to 5-year-old Collin who is a part of the class, shared the story of how sweet potatoes are grown by the family-owned plant business, operating in Gleason since 1953. He pointed out that the business was visible across the street from where the students were seating for his overview of the planting and harvesting process.

"We wanted to bring in someone locally who could tell us about a plant we are not familiar with and how it grows," said Brawner of the interactive learning that will include the children attempting to grow a plant of their own.

Baumgartel told the children that of the 400 varieties of sweet potatoes that exist, Steele focuses on about ten different varieties. Using a poster with photos describing the cycle of growth and harvesting, he introduced the children to equipment needed, the process used to ensure a bountiful crop, and the differences in colors and shapes.

The activity culminated with the children digging in the soil to find the potatoes they would then use to try to grow their own plant.

Sherri Brawner with students
Sherri Brawner captures three of her students in action as (from left to right) Declan Ellis, Kaiden Cantrell, and Foster Winstead all dig for sweet potatoes in the dirt that Joe Baumgartel of Steele Plant Farms brought across the street for their hands-on learning about the environment.