Preschool and elementary children enrolled in Stephens College Children’s School worked together this morning to create mosaic stepping stones that will be placed in the new butterfly garden in the playground.
The school has been working on the garden since last year. The stones will lead to the tent-shaped trellis, and butterfly bushes and milkweed will be planted in the spring, elementary teacher Lindsey Clifton said. She also envisions vines eventually growing up the trellis.
“They’re learning that it’s a nurturing process that takes time,” Clifton said.
The project is also a way to let preschool and elementary students work more closely together. Children worked in multi-age groups of 10 to design and create the mosaics.
The Children’s School already offers multi-age classrooms to allow students to progress at their own pace, but the preschool and elementary grades are located in two separate facilities.
“One of our goals is to help students see the school as one,” said Beth Watson, elementary teacher. “Our preschool students are learning from the older kids. They’re seeing them as role models.”
Junior education majors at Stephens who serve as teachers’ aides also got in on the action this morning, assisting with the mosaic project.
“It’s a good example for them to see community building within a school,” Watson said.
The butterfly garden is one of several projects improving the looks of the grounds around the Audrey Webb Child Center off Windsor Street. The school, with the assistance of Stephens Project Manager Richard Perkins, teamed up with the City of Columbia to create a rain garden on the edge of the property. The layout of the design was finalized earlier this month and planting will begin this spring.
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