A Spanish class in a vegetable garden is not something you would expect to find in a typical high school, but that is exactly where you will find Tatiana Wright and her Spanish IV class at Wauseon High School during first period.
All six students in Wright’s Spanish IV class are members of Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica, an honor society for high school students enrolled in Spanish. As a requirement of the honor society, each student must complete a social service project, as well as maintain a 3.5 GPA in Spanish and a 3.4 overall GPA. When Wright began the honor society at Wauseon High School in 2019, she had the idea to grow a garden for all the students to use as their service project.
With the help of the high school’s FFA program, Wright and her inaugural class of Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica built 10 garden beds behind the high school and began growing produce. Wright praised the FFA program and its teachers, saying “without the FFA this wouldn’t be possible.” The FFA program continues to donate seeds for the garden and has provided advice and guidance since the garden’s inception.
The City of Wauseon has also donated to the garden, providing a load of mulch for the garden beds earlier this spring. Wright expressed a deep sense of gratitude to everyone who has continued to make this service project flourish. She also made sure to note that any donations of vegetable seeds, mulch, or soil for the garden would be greatly appreciated to help this project continue to grow in 2023.
Wright and her class donate the produce from their garden to the Fulton County Senior Center. In 2019 when she began this project, she was searching for a place to donate the produce that was grown. When Wright found the Senior Center, she knew it was the perfect fit. She said that the senior center is always “grateful and excited” to receive the produce from her students.
This year’s crop includes cherry and Roma tomatoes, carrots, peppers, cucumbers, green beans, onions, pumpkins, and a variety of herbs, including thyme, basil, cilantro, and oregano. Throughout the summer months, each student was assigned two weeks to tend the garden and were responsible for weeding and watering the plants during that time period. During the first month of class in the fall, students spend one class period a week harvesting their produce and then one of the students transports the vegetables and herbs to the senior center for donation.
This week’s harvest provided the Senior Center a large box full of carrots, tomatoes, green beans, pumpkins, and cucumbers. In previous weeks, the garden has provided the Senior Center with multiple boxes of vegetables and herbs. Sandra Lemley from the Fulton County Senior Center stated that “the seniors love it” and fresh vegetables on the donation table never last long.
Wright speaks with so much passion and pride about her students and their ability to donate the produce that they grow to the Senior Center. “We work with our hearts, and they receive it with their hearts.”