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Worm composting a fun lesson at FPS

Fourth-grade students in Nick Little’s fourth-grade classroom at Fitzhugh Park Elementary School have gotten their hands dirty for future clean-eating fun.
Little recently wrote a successful grant and received funds from the Terra Science and Education nonprofit to begin an in-classroom worm composting project. The grant money will fund the worm composting bin, materials for a greenhouse and other related necessities.
While Little will offer guidance on the project, it will be student-run, after they had learned about sustainability and conservation. Those lessons align with the Next Generation science standards. Worm composting, Little said, also has related to the school’s practice of the 7 Habits, particularly the one about being proactive.
Prior to the worm composting bin’s arrival in the classroom, Little required his students to research red worms and how they help break things down to help create rich soil to be used for planting. Whether the fourth-graders bring lunch from home or eat a school lunch, green and plant-based waste may be used in the composting bin.
The class will work with Burke’s Do it Best Home Center in Oswego to purchase materials and have the multi-tiered greenhouse structure created. Students will help by bringing in recycled two-liter bottles of soda to be used for planting vegetables and herbs. By the end of the school year, Little said he is hopeful to have rich, healthy soil ready. Little’s class will also collaborate with fellow worm composters in Judith Osetek’s classroom to get ahead on some planting and eventually enjoy a salad celebration.
The hope, Little said, is for students to see how easy it is and potentially bring the idea home to their families. The project would not have been possible without the help of Osetek, Dan Rupert and FPS Principal Donna Simmons, he said.

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