For the past seven weeks, students from The Montessori School of the Berkshires have been putting their hands to work all over Lenox. But people will have to wait until spring to see the fruits, or in this case, the blooms, of their labor.
A group of eight fifth- and sixth-grade students have partnered with Lynn Sutton of the Lenox Village Improvement Committee to spruce up public parcels and plant tulip bulbs for the spring. By the project's end, more than 500 tulip and daffodil bulbs will be planted between Lenox and Lenox Dale.
PHOTO GALLERY | Montessori students plant tulip bulbs in Lenox
Bridgette Moore, an elementary guide at the school, said community service-learning projects are part of the year-long sixth-grade curriculum, and service projects regularly take place in other grades. She said community member Sean VanDusen has helped to coordinate the projects.
The Montessori School of the Berkshires is tucked away in a somewhat secluded location on Patterson Road in Lenox Dale, so doing such projects is also a helpful vehicle for taking students off campus and having them better engage with the town.
"It's nice to connect them with that and to have [the students] be a presence in town," Moore said.
Each Thursday, the school's two sixth-graders, Cole Masiero and Aidan Losardo, have been going into town to help Sutton with various projects, from planting around the Lenox Community Center to picking up trash around the public areas of Lenox Dale.
This Thursday, the fifth-graders, all girls, joined the boys in planting tulip bulbs in Roche Reading Park, adjacent to the Lenox Library.
"It's pretty fun," said Losardo, who added that "you also get to help the community."
Montessori parent and Lenox Village Improvement Committee member Katie Armstrong helped students with their planting on Thursday.
"It's great to have them come down and do hands-on stuff," she said.
Together, the group has had some interesting experiences, both negative and positive. One thing they've found is trash, from beer bottles to cigarette butts, littering the garden beds.
The students have also been asked about their work by passersby.
"One guy actually helped us out," said Masiero, recalling a day of bulb planting at the Lenox Community Center.
Moore said students will, as the year goes on, work with staff at Kimball Farms assisted living community to record oral life histories of residents, in addition to more green and beautification projects. Students will also be learning how to create their own recipes and cook.
"Through all these projects, they're learning a lot of life skills," Moore said.
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