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Stickney-Forest View library secures STEM Garden grant

Published: Thursday, April 17, 2014 4:46 p.m. CST

STICKNEY – A garden is being planted at the Stickney-Forest View Public Library that is expected to provide a veritable salad of solutions for problems in science, technology engineering and mathematics.

Youth Services Assistant Verna Austen recently secured Another Opportunity for Back 2 Books grant of $3,500 from the Secretary of State’s Office for her award-winning idea to create a STEM garden at the library.

Library Director Heather Shlah said the library plays an essential role in reaching out to students in their communities who experience poverty, digital divide issues and an overall lack of educational opportunities. The STEM garden is just one other way to reach that demographic, she said.

The STEM garden will also be a place to plant some hands on interests in the earth as well.

Verna’s plan was for the library to not only to help the community develop science skills by gardening, but a second outcome would be helping kids grow an appreciation for gardening, sustainable living and locally grown resources, Shlah said.

The garden is expected to provide students with creative, educational materials and innovative programming, uniting the common core standards with the STEM principles of science, technology, engineering and math.

This project is designed to encourage students to apply practical skills to their daily lives, as well as ignite a spark of curiosity that is central to a lifetime of literacy and learning. The project is set to start with the commencement of the library’s Summer Reading program this year.

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