‘How Does Your Garden Grow?’

Teacher Marietta Wachowski shows preschool student Carson Hood how to plant seeds at St. Charles Children’s Learning Center (CLC) at the College of Southern Maryland at the end of April when the center celebrated Earth Day.

Students at CSM’s Children’s Learning Center Cultivate Flowers, Vegetables and a Crop of Learning Opportunities

Students at the St. Charles Children’s Learning Center (CLC) at the College of Southern Maryland (CSM) are learning how plants grow and how they provide us with both food and beautiful flowers.

In a joint effort between the center’s before- and after-care students and all three preschool classrooms, students planted seeds and seedlings in garden boxes set up outside of the center’s building on the college’s La Plata Campus at the end of April. The students showed their enthusiasm for the project by checking on their plants’ progress daily, according to CLC Director Shirley Allen.

“We are so proud of our garden,” Allen said. “We now have cucumbers, which we sampled yesterday, corn, watermelons, cantaloupes, herbs, flowers and carrots.”

The garden was so productive that the CLC staff had to place fencing around the garden to discourage hungry groundhogs and deer. “The gardening provides the children with a strong foundation in basic STEM concepts and multi-sensory learning experiences,” Allen said.

The center has been in operation for 11 years and is accredited by the Maryland State Department of Education. The center provides CSM students, faculty and staff, as well as community members, quality, child-centered care for more than 100 students from ages 8 weeks to 12 years old. The center has 10,000 square feet of learning space, including nine child-centered classrooms, a gymnasium and a prep kitchen. In addition, the center has its own private landscaped playground and access to the campus grounds.

For information on the CLC, visit http://clc.csmd.edu/.