GOOD NEWS: Students play in the dirt, learn gardening skills

SUGAR HILL -- Students at White Oak Elementary last week got lessons in the importance of agriculture as 15 classes planted seeds in raised garden beds behind the school.

Each class has a row designated to donate the eventual harvest to the North Gwinnett Co-op, according to the school's environmental education committee chair Lesley Reilly.

"The success of this program has occurred due to immense community collaboration," said Reilly, adding that Randy Nass of Design South LLC donated the lumber and labor to construct six raised beds and installed an irrigation system over the summer.

In addition, two master gardeners donated time to help the students learn about organic gardening.

Last week, third-grade students at the school used math skills to help measure out and rope off square foot sections of the garden to prepare for planting.

The school also raised money for the soil over the past year and a half through its Earth Day event and through contributions from Home Depot and Publix.

Local teachers chosen as arts finalists

SUWANEE -- Two GCPS educators are among the finalists selected by the Woodruff Arts Center for the 2012 Woodruff Salutes Georgia Arts in Education leaders recognition program.

The school principal and teacher were chosen based on their leadership in the use of arts in education and their impact on the community, state and discipline they serve.

Each honoree will receive a $2,500 award for an arts program of their choice.

GCPS finalists are Crystal Collins, principal of Magill Elementary, nominated in the Education Leadership School category; and Aimee Burgamy, Trickum Middle, nominated in the Visual Arts Specialist area. Burgamy was Gwinnett's 2009 Teacher of the Year.

Frank Reddy writes about education. Good News from Schools appears in the Sunday edition of the Daily Post.