LaGRANGE, Ga. (WRBL) – With the help of the University of Georgia and some donations, the children at Hollis Hand Elementary School will be learning the importance of gardens and vegetation this upcoming school year. The students now have a garden in the back that features flowers and fruits and vegetables.

Laura Mirarchi, the University of Georgia’s County Extension Coordinator, said the extension program was excited to become a part of the learning opportunity for the students.

“These are hands-on, experiential learning opportunities for the kids that are correlated to the Georgia standards of excellence,” said Mirarchi.

The extension program will also provide workshops for the educators if they are interested in facilitating their own garden based lessons.

Mirarchi believes there are a variety of lessons that can be taught to the children in the gardens. She hopes the students were learn where their food comes from and how the soil and plants interact.

Maryanne Lovejoy, the parent of two children at Hollis Hand and the Corresponding Secretary of the Parent Teacher Organization, said she wanted to begin the garden again to teach her daughters about where their food comes from and the importance of gardening.

“We really hope that the children will have the opportunity to learn about where their food comes from and how to grow it themselves. Some of the children have never had the opportunity to grow something from a seed and really just learn the differences between fruits and vegetables. What it takes, the different factors that are involved in growing a plant and pollinating a plant and getting it to something that we can all enjoy,” said Lovejoy.

Lovejoy said she also hopes the students learn about the importance of pollinators. She and Mirarchi are working on a program where kindergarten students can work on the garden every month during the school year.

Whitley Kate Lovejoy, age 8, said she enjoys planting seeds in the garden and can’t wait to learn how to use clippers.