PUTTING EMPTY DRINK BOTTLES to good use are Washington Middle School students and teachers. Front row, l-r: Arath Garcia Vargas, Andes Gomez, Hunter Miller and Jayquan Edwards; back row: Jennifer Donalson, Halley Shafer, Skylar Hood, Lauren Jones, Lynn Arline, Mark Bagley and Jonathan Ross.
A greenhouse project at Washington Middle School got a show of statewide support Tuesday from State School Superintendent Richard Woods. In an email sent to subscribers of the Georgia Department of Education news updates, Superintendent Woods asked people to help WMS rebuild its greenhouse, which was damaged in Hurricane Michael.
Woods states in the email, “Last fall, I had the privilege to visit Washington Middle School in Cairo, where teachers had the innovative idea of creating a greenhouse using recycled two-liter bottles. Sadly, the structure was damaged by the hurricane. But there’s a very simple way you can help the school rebuild: by mailing them empty, washed/rinsed two-liter bottles. Mail to: Washington Middle School c/o Lynn Arline, Instructional Coordinator, 1277 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., Cairo, GA 39828.”
Danielle Jones, ALPHA/Gifted Academy director for Grady County Schools, stated, “What an honor to be mentioned at the state level!”
The email has already sparked a lot of statewide interest, according to Mrs. Lynn Arline, instructional coordinator for WMS. “I am very excited because I have received emails from schools throughout the state wanting to help us. One teacher is making it a senior project where all seniors donate one bottle. Another teacher is wanting her students to Skype with our students on how the greenhouse was designed and built and then the students will collect bottles to be sent to our school.
Arline continues, “I would also like to give credit to the VanLandingham family. We received $5,000 from the Richard and Teresa VanLandingham Maxi-Grant Fund this year, as well. Other local businesses have donated time and materials to our school. This has been a community effort and we are grateful for the support from our community.”
Arline says much credit goes to Ms. Jennifer Donalson who came up with the idea three years ago. “Ms. Donalson has been a vital part of the project and our efforts to become the first STEM Certified Middle School in the southwest Georgia region. Just recently she had an article about our Urban Garden Project published in a magazine sponsored by the Georgia Council of Teachers of Mathematics.”
Anyone willing to donate empty, washed 2-liter bottles is encouraged to drop them off at WMS, located at 1277 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave.