LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — In celebration of Earth Day, hundreds of kids, including the students at Lois Craig Elementary, will sell fruits and vegetables in the largest student farmers market in the country on Friday.
Lois Craig Elementary is one of 60 schools in Southern Nevada whose students will participate in the Green Our Planet event in downtown Summerlin on Festival Drive.
The Green Our Planet outdoor garden classroom at Lois Craig is cultivating agricultural engineers. Green Our Planet is a program that brings a STEM garden onto a campus. Students plant and grow a variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs and other plants in the garden plots throughout school grounds.
"I learned that plants breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen, which I didn’t know before," said Antonio Sanchez, a fourth-grader.
"I have learned what kinds of fruits there are and what you need to take care of them," said fourht-grader Jveon Monroe.
The school's principal, Michele Cobb, brought in the Green Our Planet program because she believes the best learning experiences are live and in-person, which is why students in the class are getting their hands dirty as they cultivate their produce.
"Students have created jewelry, farming, we have a Lois Craig cookbook that we’re really excited about, and I’m excited for my students to see both avenues of the gardening and also entrepreneurship," Cobb said.
Green Our Planet instructors say the younger a child is introduced to a specific concept, like agriculture, the easier it is for him or her to understand.
"We want to empower them to take this beyond just the schoolyard and become a home garden," said David McClenton, an agricultural engineer with Green Our Planet. "Plus, when kids start growing their own food, they’re quick to eat it, and this is introducing healthier food to them and will promote a healthier lifestyle when they become adults."
The Green Our Planet Student Farmers Market will operate from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Downtown Summerlin at 1980 Festival Plaza Dr. on Friday.