College of Coastal Georgia students plan to support the creation of a community garden at St. Mary Elementary School.
The garden will be planted and designed by art students at the elementary school, along with original works of poetry and artwork inspired by their garden
Emily Boyles, an English class lecturer at CCGA, has created a service-learning project for her students with art teacher Susan Grayson of St. Marys Elementary School to create the community garden.
CCGA students are helping SMES students think and learn how to write poetry about their garden.
Boyle’s 1102 class started a partnership with Grayson this spring as part of the class’ goal to consider how art affects the community. Grayson teaches all levels of art, from kindergarten to fifth grade, and works with various organizations to make students’ work relevant to their lives.
Boyle submitted a service-learning grant proposal to the College’s Center for Service-Learning and requested funds to buy art and gardening supplies for the SMES students — which was granted.
Her fall semester class wanted to pick up where the previous class left off, but with the added bonus of teaching students how to write poems.
A service-learning grant for the fall semester was approved to purchase the book “All the Small Poems and Fourteen More” by Valerie Worth for St. Marys students and Coastal Georgia students. The book features includes a template on how to write poems.
The gardening project is still in the early stages of planning.
Coastal Georgia students will collaborate with Ed Madden’s creative writing and Community class at the University of South Carolina to create video lessons about writing poetry, so SMES students can write and illustrate their own work for the garden.
Boyle believes the collaboration will benefit everyone involved. The project will not only reinforce what college students are learning, but also support SMES teachers in reaching their goals of teaching state standards.
“As Dr. Madden has always said, poetry is not some scary puzzle that the author created to trick an audience. Poems offer perspective that prose cannot,” Boyle said. “We study a wide variety of poetry in English 1102, and I hope that my students, through this collaboration, will see how writing their own poems and teaching others how to write poems about a subject they value can create community. I am also excited to see what the virtual community we have among our students and the University of South Carolina students will produce.”