Tag Archives: students

Extracurricular Gardening

Beginning in April 2012, the Blue Ridge Land Conservancy teamed up with Grandin Court Elementary School to begin an after-school Garden Club for students interested in learning about gardening and growing food.
Teachers and parents wanted to spruce up the raised beds at the school and use them as a hands-on learning exercise. At first, they worried there might be limited student interest in such an “uncool” activity like gardening. But that spring, kids were playing outside, handling worms, and learning how to care for plants- and they loved it!
They saw how the items on their dinner plate were parts of living plants which took time and effort to grow. They were proud of making the school grounds more beautiful by planting flowers. The Green Thumbs Garden Club quickly grew to over 40 students. A second season of the club was planned for the fall so that all of the kids who wanted to attend could do so. Students and their families were also invited to tend the garden over the summer.

gc2With funding from the Roanoke Kiwanis Club, the Blue Ridge Land Conservancy built new gardens at Westside Elementary in 2014 and Highland Park Elementary School in 2015. Each new garden works towards an ultimate goal, to help students who participate in the garden clubs gain a better understanding of what they are eating. With more awareness of the different types of plants and what plant parts people can eat, the Blue Ridge Land Conservancy hopes to encourage students to be more adventurous in what they eat and to be unafraid to try new things.
Last year, project manager Meagan Cupka helped students plant corn at Westside Elementary. When she poured the seeds into her hand, one young student cried out, “That’s just corn!” Many students had no idea that the yellow kernels they eat are actually seeds. That moment is just one of many that illustrates how important this educational program is for young people.
This project continues to reconnect kids to their environment and provide them with a space where they can play and learn about the world in which they live. For more information on the Blue Ridge Land Conservancy and their after-school garden clubs, visit www.blueridgelandconservancy.org/garden-clubs.

Easing the Financial Burden of Higher Education

Five Ways to Spur Savings While Prepping for College

From the college experts at DormCo.com

Sending a student to college has become an increasingly expensive endeavor. While the benefit of a good education can’t be overlooked, the cost of that education can be daunting! When prepping a new student for dorm and college life, make financially sound decisions to bolster savings — and to ease concerns. Saving and being smart about money can be practiced both by new students (college freshmen) and their parents. By proactively preparing to manage expenses, you’ll maximize savings. See below for five easy-to-implement cost saving tips for freshmen.  

1. Be smart about textbook purchases. Renting textbooks saves you money, but be sure to consider purchasing if the textbook is for a major course. It can be useful to have those core textbooks down the road. Also, when renting, compare prices. Big-name rental companies aren’t always the best option. Keep comparing until you find the lowest price. It might take a little longer, but it’s worth it.

2. Choose the most efficient meal plan for your personal circumstances. Many schools have multiple meal plan options, from a 7, 10, 14 meal/week to unlimited. Don’t overpay for a plan if you have a picky eater or a student with food allergies who will have to prepare many meals in his dorm room. Conversely, it also isn’t price-efficient to try and save money by purchasing a cheaper meal plan for your student if he’s the type to eat frequent smaller meals. If you choose a 10 meal/week plan and your student goes broke ordering pizza and going to a campus shop for overpriced convenience food, you’re losing major money. Saving money with a meal plan is multi-dimensional and unique to each student.

3. Split expenses with a roommate. You may think you’ll save money by deal-hunting and buying large dorm items (mini-fridges, televisions, etc.) upfront, but it could hurt you in the long run. Splitting the costs of those items (e.g. one roommate brings the TV, one brings the fridge, they both split the cost of cable) saves the hassle of potentially over-buying and being unable to return things down the line. Wait until your student gets assigned a roommate and then discuss options.

trunk4. Do one-stop dorm shopping. Use a dorm specialty store, like DormCo.com, to purchase all your dorm supplies! You can purchase reasonably priced college supplies — from bedding, to storage options, to trunks and seating — all in one place. Also, DormCo.com offers flat-rate $2.95 shipping on your entire order. (Yes, you can ship a bedding package, mini-fridge, AND a trunk for just $2.95.) This allows you to get a great deal on quality dorm supplies that will last your students throughout their years living in dorms, and you’ll save BIG on shipping costs, too. With all of other tasks on your plate to prep your child for college — tuition bills, scholarship applications and potential empty-nest syndrome — you’ll be happy that you chose an all-in-one online retailer for your child’s dorm necessities.

5. Teach students how to save. The number one way for a student to be financially unprepared for college is to know nothing about personal finance. If your family doesn’t have a lot of disposable income — or you don’t want to just be spoon-feeding your student piles of money — make him start saving before school and practice finance management. Students can take on an inexpensive monthly bill, like their cell phone, to learn budgeting. You can also allot them a certain budget that they HAVE to stick to. In the end, it’s up to the student — once he’s at school — to make sure that all your efforts mean something.

august dormcoAbout The Author

DormCo.com is the leading online college dorm supplies superstore. With more than 4,500 products, DormCo carries college necessities such as twin XL bedding, furniture for dorms, trunks and more. DormCo also offers a range of unique, useful, and even downright fun supplies for college that you won’t find in stores. Visit DormCo.com for a one-stop shop that provides everything needed to make dorm life more comfortable and convenient.