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Goldsboro Students Plant Seeds for the Future

Featured Photo from Goldsboro Students Plant Seeds for the Future

A trail of shoes filled with soil and pretty flowers lined the outside corridor of Goldsboro Elementary Magnet School as a welcoming party of students greeted visitors good morning. That was the heartwarming scene that beckoned guests to celebrate Goldsboro’s Enabling Garden, a newly constructed garden designed with physically disabled students in mind.

A trail of shoes filled with soil and pretty flowers lined the outside corridor of Goldsboro Elementary Magnet School as a welcoming party of students greeted visitors good morning. That was the heartwarming scene that beckoned guests to celebrate Goldsboro’s Enabling Garden, a newly constructed garden designed with physically disabled students in mind.

The idea grew out of the inability of some special needs students to participate in the school’s fitness club program.
“We designed the enabling garden to act as a hands-on laboratory for students who are physically challenged,” says Mary Lynn Hess, the STEM K-5 resource teacher who helped build the program. “By the students using this special garden area, it has enabled them to explore and become academically successful, as well as show them how to live active, healthier lifestyles.”

The raised concrete garden bed and wide entrances make planting and harvesting easily accessible for those with muscular issues and those in wheelchairs. Disabled students will now be able to experience the undeniably therapeutic benefits of gardening. Planting seeds, watching them grow, and harvesting is a rewarding experience and a great way to release stress and boost your mood. The very act of interacting with a variety of surfaces stimulates the visual, tactile, olfactory, auditory, and other systems and helps develops motor skills and social skills. Goldsboro’s extensive on-campus program includes a bird sanctuary, a sensory garden, a fruit and vegetable garden, and now an enabling garden.

Thanks to grants and donors, two special needs classes worked closely with volunteer master gardeners from the Seminole County extension office, learning about planting, caring for the crops, and harvesting fresh fruits and vegetables. From inception to the finished product, the enabling garden took about a year and a half to complete. “The master gardeners did an awesome job helping us make this garden come true,” says Mary Lynn. “It’s one of a kind!”

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