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FHS middle schoolers beautify Media Center garden

The International Baccalaureate middle school classes are beautifying the media center here at Franklin for a project inspired by a novel about the experiences of Japanese-Americans who were interned during World War II.

Middle school English teachers Savannah Jones and Carmen Lopez, inspired by the book “Farewell To Manzanar,” decided to improve the media center garden. This book is about a 7-year-old Japanese girl who is in the internment camps in 1945 California. “[In the book] they [live through] poor conditions,” said Jones. “They made it better [by creating] gardens.”

Lopez and Jones noticed that the media center needed to be addressed and wanted to change it for the students. “People said that [improvements] had been started before, but nobody has really done anything with the garden area,” said Jones. “I would love for it to be a usable space that the students can enjoy and come back to years later.”

To get the supplies needed to complete the garden project, students needed to write letters to businesses asking for plant donations. Jones and Lopez asked their students to research plants to know what would grow best in the media center garden area.

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“It all really depends on the donations…[but] we are hoping for something that… that doesn’t need a lot of water, [and that is] good in the shade,” said Jones. They are expecting plant donations from local businesses to use for the garden.

The project is a learning experience for the students where they can explore by hand and research while having fun. “I think that with the research the students are doing,” said Lopez. “They are learning a lot more about how to have a successful garden…and what it needs to sustain it.”

Lopez said she hopes that this project will help students get a connection between the outside world and their reading, as well as foster a love for reading and learning. “They are definitely becoming more aware of… the outside surroundings and the hard work that it takes to actually get something like this done,” said Lopez.

Lopez and Jones aim to create something memorable for the FHS community and students. “We hope that once the project is done… to have an opening ceremony for the [garden] area where we can invite other members of the community,” said Lopez. They expect to convert this place into something they can never forget and know they were part of their community.

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