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Gove Guardians of Wellness Going Green

Ellen Smith,   Gove Elementary School
Community Playtime – It’s Good for Everyone
Gove Guardians of Wellness Going Green
Gove Elementary “Going Green” has been a dream for over a decade. Gove has been a consistent champion of wellness with family and community projects since 2004. Gove is located in a rural community that has been noted as a food desert. The need to bring awareness and strategies for conservation, wellness and being a positive example to our community is paramount. Gove’s Wellness Committee’s main goal has been the empowerment of youth and their families through endeavors of mental and physical activity with nutrition education programs while raising awareness and creating policies for a healthier community. Adding the power of all that is “Green” with the Green Team to wellness was a natural progression for Gove Elementary. Our club has been promoting wellness and conservation this year with the 13th Walk to School, beautiful butterfly garden and celery pizza project with the resources and support of local business partners. Without the help from longtime volunteer Flo Zavala of Duda Farms, we would not have qualified as a Green School of Quality. We are aiming for the school of excellence because of our students, staff and administration's desire to always achieve! Enjoy pictures of our projects for the fall of 2017.

How did students and adults work together as a team?

It is amazing to see the results of a joint effort between students and adults with the same goal of producing beauty from an unkempt garden. Because of students from Gove working with the club sponsors, University of Florida interns and Glades Central High School students, we built a sanctuary for butterflies and herbs with recyclable materials and monies from our Go Teach and Lowes grants.

How do you plan to make this Play last during the school year and beyond?

Our project will be accomplished with partnerships from our local Middle School who will keep our garden flourishing during the summer. Gove’s staff and students will continue the gardens because of the many cross curriculum lessons. Long term memory is enhanced with hands on activities which are provided with our garden lessons for all classes, from scavenger hunts to providing measuring sheets for outdoor items. Earth Science is big advantage with erosion happening at their feet!

What improvements have you seen at your school?

Improvements have been numerous, from comradely of students and staff to pride in their accomplishments for beautifying their campus. The additional perk is the produce and lessons available through our Butterfly Santuary, Ladybug releases and garden produce lessons from the USDA Farm to School Program.