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Community comes together for school garden


Magnolia Elementary held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Dec. 12 to commemorate its first outdoor campus garden, thanks to support from local community organizations.

This past spring, Michelle Beicker and Sierra Wilturner, Magnolia Elementary teachers, were awarded $1,988.06 from Pearland ISD Education Foundation for their Innovative Teaching Grant project titled ““OMG! Our Magnolia Garden.” The garden features a butterfly habitat, native Texas plants, and vegetables.

 “Our vision is for students to gain hands-on experience and a better understanding of the life cycle of plants and insects.” Michelle Beicker, second grade teacher and garden project co-leader, said. Elementary school gardens have been shown to create positive attitudes towards science and learning, and foster a sense of pride and ownership in students.

In addition to support from the Education Foundation, the raised garden beds were designed and installed by Lowe’s Store on Pearland Parkway. The Magnolia Elementary PTA also partnered on the project by funding the costs of garden pavers.

“It was a privilege to work with the school administrators and teachers on this project,” Thomas Smith, Lowe’s Pearland Parkway Store Manager, said. “Seeing all of the children with their happy faces is a joy I will not soon forget.”

“This project perfectly demonstrates the purpose of our organization and our Innovative Teaching Grants Program,” Donna Rizzo, Foundation President, said. “Every donation we receive helps to fund inventive educational experiences for Pearland ISD teachers and their students.”

Pearland ISD Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, tax-exempt organization. Since its inception in 2014, the foundation has awarded more than $135,000 in innovative teaching grants to enrich learning in Pearland ISD classrooms. To learn more about the organization, please visit: