News Column

Students Get Hands Dirty With Green Project

May 28, 2013

Andrew Kreighbaum

Before this week, most students at El Paso's Center for Career & Technology Education had never held a shovel, much less completed any yard work, said interim Principal Matthew Farley.

But the senior class at the campus, which draws students from throughout the El Paso Independent School District, was hard at work this week.

For the second year, career and technology students organized a green project for the campus on North Walnut Street.

"Juniors from last year came to me as seniors and said 'hey, when are we doing our green activity?' " Farley said.

Although the school's staff have provided some direction and supervision, the project is organized and paid for by students through their own fundraising.

It was partly an extension of landscaping completed at the front entrance of the campus by seniors the previous year.

The school educates students enrolled in a variety of career programs including auto collision and electrician classes, cosmetology and law enforcement.

Last week, they took shifts digging out dead plants from outside the school and from an interior courtyard, laid gravel and installed palm trees and other plants suited to the local desert climate.

"It's good because we need a lot of help from everybody," said Jennifer Olvera, a culinary arts student from Irvin High School.

Farley said the work outside served in part as a break from preparations for end-of-semester exams for many students.

Eric Lara, another Irvin High culinary student, said the project would hopefully motivate future classes at the high school to make their own contributions to the campus.

"Everybody has their own little part," said Lara. "I'm pretty sure we topped (last year's seniors)."


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