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Mount Union Partners with Bethany House and Northside Elementary to Plant Gardens

April 20, 2007

Northside Elementary will soon be a more beautiful place thanks to its students, the Bethany House and Mount Union College students who planted two gardens there on April 20.

The year-long project came to an end on April 20, which is national and global youth service day. This project began in August when Amanda Espenschied-Reilly, director of service-learning and community service at Mount Union, wrote a grant proposal with Joanne Kramer, the director of Bethany House, which received funding from State Farm Insurance and Learn and Serve America.

Beginning in January, College students and the fourth grade science classes at Northside partnered up to design two gardens to attract wildlife to the area. These gardens can be used as living learning labs at the school and are also in memory of Mason Adger, a student who died in a fire last year.

Bethany House, an after school program for grades kindergarten through third, built birdhouses for the garden.

'We decided to do it to help strengthen the partnerships that already exist,' Espenschied-Reilly said. 'This project has involved students from kindergarten all the way up through college. I think it's important to get students involved with people who are older than them. Interaction with college students is important because it helps the younger ones to start thinking about college.

Espenschied-Reilly hopes to help maintain the gardens in the future and expand the project in years to come.

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