Local teachers help families make ends meet with community garden, school supplies

A teacher who uses her own time to build and keep up a garden is getting recognition.

Special Education teacher Laura Urtubey at Crestwood Elementary School has raised over $80,000 since she started the student garden.

It began with five garden beds. Today, it spans 15,000 square feet. And kids are so excited about it they even sign up to come to school early to maintain it.

"When we first started and they would pull out a carrot, they were so amazed because they had never seen where a carrot came from," said Laura.

The produce that is grown in the garden is sold, though families are allowed to take what they want for free.

Laura is one of the 20 teachers who won the Smith Center's Heart of Education Award this year.

Clark High School teacher Luanne Wagner also won the award in 2018 after creating the Charger Closet at her school. It's stored with food, clothing, and school supplies for any students to take for free.

The program reportedly helps hundreds of students in a single week.

"It's overwhelming, and it's the reason why I teach," said Luanne. 

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