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Students at Community of Hope learn outdoors

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
April 18, 2002
Students who are tutored at the Community of Hope Tutoring Program have been hitting the dirt this week as well as the books.
Public school students in kindergarten through fifth grade, who are tutored at Community of Hope, are creating a butterfly garden, a morning garden and a shade garden at Jubilee Mennonite Church all for a beautification project.
Work began Monday when students filled gravel around a drain pipe for the butterfly garden. On Tuesday, they spread new top soil. On Wednesday, they started planting annuals, perennials and shrubs.
They plan to continue the work today.
The students will work on the shade garden during the coming weeks, according to Melody Clymer, small group leader for the program.
Students spend an hour one-on-one with their tutors and another hour on "enrichment activities" with Clymer in the after-school program.
Elaine Maust and her husband, Duane, are pastors at the church, where the tutoring program takes place.
Some tutors, parents and volunteers from the church also have given time to the project.
It was designed by Kenton Brubaker, a retired biology professor from the Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Va. He and his wife, Shirley, are interim pastors at the church while the Mausts take a sabbatical.
Anita Wansley, Community of Hope program director, said the concept has three objectives: teach the children about plants, beautify the area and give something back to the church that provides space and volunteers within the program.
The children have also focused on visual and musical art projects as enrichment activities.
Earlier this spring, local artist Charlie Busler worked with the students to create an abstract mural using mixed mediums on a 4-foot by 8-foot piece of Masonite.
The artwork is being entered in the People's Choice Art Contest this summer at the Meridian Museum of Art.

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