Students Sit on the Floor as an Instructor Talks About a Plant

It is said that education plants a seed for the future and that is certainly evident in the Multi Age Homeroom at Walworth Jt. School District #1. A parent of a student helped spearhead the ongoing project.

Holly Maus, whose son Jeremiah is a seventh-grade student in the homeroom that Kat Schwind is leading, brought her talents to the school. Maus has associate degrees in Horticulture and a certificate in Permaculture. The two degrees are Greenhouse and Marketing, and Landscape and Design from Gateway Technical College in Kenosha.

"As of now, the upkeep for the plants is watering and scouting for pests and disease. They haven't learned to scout yet; however, they will be learning that in the near future," said Maus. "The students seemed to really be excited about this project while teaching it. They got really into it and were having fun during the time I was there and teaching them how to propagate each plant."

What led Maus to the idea?

"I had just been at a Charter Board meeting for Innovate Walworth. It was fresh in my mind while I was working on a landscape design for a client. It just kind of came to me while I was working," she said. "I really enjoy plants and working with kids. Giving back to the community is something I value as well.

"I think it's really important for people to understand how to grow food. Not everyone has a green thumb so, if the students can begin to understand some basics on growing plants, they can eventually learn how to grow whatever they really want."

"(Maus) came to our class to help students propagate nine different plant varieties," said Schwind. "Students will care for plants individually and some as a group. They will monitor and track progress, plant health, etc. They will eventually have a plant fundraiser in the spring with plants that they have raised themselves."

Maus also teaches classes through the Big Foot Recreation Department, starting with horticulture classes for families/children.

"I will continue to do that, but I will also be offering some in the spring focusing on native species that's geared more toward people wanting to learn more." said Maus.