The Gardeners at Rover Garden

the gardeners
Stress is present in everyday life. People become stressed over work, bills, and many other things. Even school students become stressed. Hidalgo ISD’s JC Kelly Elementary has recognized that and has created a safe space for students and staff to de-stress.“We decided to have our students and staff plant a garden. It has been proven that gardening reduces stress levels and improves mood. At the same time, we created a safe space for students and staff to come to take a break and meditate. The school day can be stressful so more than anything creating an area of absolute calm was a priority.” Janet Gaona school counselor at JC Kelly Elementary had said.Rover Garden, as it is called, is free to use amongst students and staff throughout the day as needed. Everyone is encouraged to add to the garden as it is still and will always be a work in progress. The continued maintenance and growth of the garden establishes a sense of ownership amongst students and staff. Ruben Gonzalez 3rd grader at JC Kelly Elementary, is known amongst the school as “the gardener,” because of how often he is seen there. "I was put in charge of which seeds we would use for planting. Gardening was something I had always been curious about and had wanted to do and when they said we would be planting a garden at school I could not resist. I love the way plants take time to grow and the more you care for them the more beautiful they become.” he said
It is not just students who have been taking advantage of Rover Garden, but staff has also seen the benefits, “I try to take my students to the garden right after lunch or near the end of the day,” Tania Grajeda 3rd grade teacher at JC Kelly had said. “I try to make the trip educational and explain to my students the life cycle of plants. They really appreciate the fresh air and being able to step outside of the
classroom. Student behavior has improved since the garden was established. They do not want to jeopardize a trip to the garden.”
Special Education Paraprofessional Rosie Gonzalez spoke passionately about the garden she said, “For me personally the garden is amazing. When I take my students out there and see how excited they are to plant really gives me joy.”