“Everybody get a card and a pair of scissors and trim the blue lines off.”

Sustainability was the name of the game and was in action and students in St. Mary’s Academy Charter School after-school program listened as teacher Nancy Cavallin guided them in using their learned skills to make Veterans’ Day a bit brighter for local vets.

This particular part of learning about sustainability from garden to product would be shared between generations at the Coffee Barrel Thursday, Nov. 11, as veterans from Bee County and Live Oak County were honored with cards the students had made out of dried herbs, leaves and flowers from the garden.

“I have anywhere from 8-24 kids volunteering, but I’ve never done this part,” said Cavallin about the presentation of the finished products the students make during the program. “I’m excited about it.”

The multi-week process included picking the choice decorations, hanging and drying them before putting them together in unique thank you cards to honor the vets for their service.

“We’re teaching the kids about sustainability,” said Cavallin. “They could tell you which herbs are in the garden. They’ve planted many of the new plants and have taken care of them. They’ve pulled weeds and have learned all of the different aspects of (the gardening process). After Christmas we’re going to go into the entrepreneur side where they’re going to start marketing their products.”

“Not only are the students learning about the service of our honorable veterans,” said Dhavel Patel, owner of the Coffee Barrel, “they have been having fun doing educational activities about sustainability through the curriculum.”

“They know to plant, grow, water and nurture vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers. They are exposed to new cooking methods. They are tasting new foods. They engage in team work in a collaborative way,” he said. “It is all about a sustainable, positive community.”

“We are so proud of our veterans and all the students.”

•lcampbell@mysoutex.com•

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