One School at a Time: River Valley wins grant from Martin’s Super Markets

Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 6:34 PM EDT
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THREE OAKS, Mich. (WNDU) - It’s a new school year- not only for kids and teachers, but also Martin’s Super Markets.

Each month during the school year, Martin’s chooses a local school to receive a $1,000 One School at a Time grant.

“They need extra funds to do all these special programs,” explained Barb Levan, Martin’s Super Markets Community Affairs Supervisor. “It’s expensive enough just to run the daily classroom. But to have these extra-curricular activities and extra projects, they need it, vitally.”

Levan was on hand to present River Valley School District in Three Oaks, Michigan with the September One School at a Time award.

River Valley High School may have a small greenhouse, but they have some very big plans with recycled buckets.

“These are going to be for the plants that we’re going to be growing them with, we’re going to use them to expand our greenhouse,” said Kursten Smith, a junior at River Valley.

From Tik Tok, science teacher Taylor Brown figured out a way to make container gardens using 5-gallon buckets. Martin’s came through again, donating over 20 empty pastry ingredient containers.

With a drainage hole drilled at the bottom, the buckets will be filled with rocks, soil and a variety of seeds or plants. Items all purchased with the help of Martin’s grant.

“So we are looking at our potatoes, our carrots, our onions, our winter greens, and our herbs,” said Brown.

It’s a special project for Brown’s Advanced Placement (AP) Environmental Studies class.

“It’s kind of intense,” explained Brown. “So, I want this project to be something they grow from start to finish. That they decide what it means to them and what they get out of it.”

River Valley junior, DJ Frehling likes the idea of this independent project…

“This project lets us think on our own,” said Frehling. “This is all up to the kids. And I think that’s really important because in high school there really aren’t super many times that you are the boss. And you get to do what you see fit with what we have.”

River Valley senior Hannah Holman wants to take things to the next level and try aquaponics.

“Instead of using soil you filter water through two different tanks with fish,” explained Holman. “It filters through rocks instead of dirt. And it feeds the plant and the plants feed the fish, it’s a cycle that helps itself.”

Helping these kids learn about sustainable agriculture.

“It’s just a good model for us to learn from. Nature and its environments and those interactions, generally help us live better lives. More balanced lives, that have good feedback systems. That don’t over demand from us. It’s just very relaxing,” said Brown.

The idea is to harvest the herbs and vegetables and eventually make soup that they can sell for a fundraiser. WNDU will keep you posted on their progress.

To nominate your school for a Martin’s Super Market One School at a Time grant, just click this link for the entry form.