By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
The students of Tucker Valley Elementary Middle School took on a project toward the end of last year that they’re reaping the benefits of this year. As you pull up to the front of the school you will see a colorful and unique rock garden. “I’m just so proud of the kids, they worked for hours”, recalled teacher Kelly Underwood when reminiscing over her sixth grade class last year.
These now seventh graders were learning about the six traits of writing as part of a school-wide writing program. Three of those traits are ideas, organization and word choice. The students were provided paper in the shape of rocks to practice their designs and visualize their ideas. Once they determined their preference, every student, preschool through eighth grade, were provided rocks to recreate their rough drafts.
Creating these one of a kind art projects was the easy part of the project. The garden bed had yet to be laid out and prepped. Starting with the design through the finishing touches the kids were involved every step of the way. “Last year’s sixth graders did all of the manual labor”, explained Underwood. They dug out several inches of rock down to the dirt and measured out their plot. Thanks to their project sponsor St. George Medical Center, the necessary supplies were provided such as the black fabric to aid in weed prevention as well as the garden edging. “The kids even developed their own transit”, Underwood smiled.
Their hard work sure has paid off. Not only does the rock garden represent every student in TVEMS, but a memorial section is also incorporated. Family ties within the school system painted rocks in remembrance of physical education teacher Darrin Moss, Sharon Lambert and Sandy Kresge, former custodians succumbing to their battle with cancer, and Seth Owens, former TVEMS student who passed away in fifth grade. “Our goal is to get all the new kids who moved in as well as the new preschoolers”, Underwood said.