If you visit Kittrell Elementary School and notice it appears to have an abundance of potted plants, that’s because it does, thanks to one student’s green thumb.
The school has been engaged in a partnership with Oakland High School’s FFA program. Oakland provided the elementary school with a variety of Tradescantia, aka spiderwort. Third-grade student Jack Oliver has enthusiastically watered the prolific plant daily, helping it to take off and multiply, said his teacher, Arleen Mitchell.
You can see the plants all around campus, she said.
The plant is grown in Oakland FFA’s greenhouse, OHS agriculture teacher Rachel Ralston said. FFA sells it, and other plants, every year in its plant sale. The next plant sale will be in April, she said.
Oakland FFA will take some cuttings of the plants, which are annuals, to make new plantings next year, education assistant Jennie Brandon said.
It takes a village to raise a child, and that’s true too about teaching a child about horticulture. The staff that has been involved in developing the partnership are Oakland FFA teachers Rachel Ralston and Caitlin LaLiberte, and Kittrell teachers Brandon, Mitchell and Barbara Donnell and Principal Ynetia Avant.
Oakland FFA was charted in 1976 and is one of the largest FFA chapters in the state of Tennessee, according to the organization’s website.