Welcome to Jaguar Gardens! Watching this enterprise develop and take off has been unbelievable. And the best part about this enterprise is seeing genuine smiles on the faces of students, staff, and customers.
Last spring, one of the special education classrooms in our high school began a greenhouse in their classroom. What started as a small enterprise has turned into a flourishing classroom business, nearly selling out at their first pop-up event at one of the elementary schools.
When the idea came about, the special education teacher began by buying supplies out of her pocket. Once word got out, administrators began advocating for the enterprise, and donations started to pour in once it became publicized. The classroom was able to get plants, pots, and paint donated by staff, parents, and community members.
None of this could happen without the help and support of the amazing paraprofessionals. They have been a key part of the creation and keeping things progressing.
Every Friday, the classroom sets up its storefront in a hallway during the school’s lunch periods. Students work alongside their peer mentors to sell the items. In addition to their weekly hallway storefront, they take special requests and online orders and have begun doing pop-up events. The class is looking to expand by providing herbs to the culinary arts program at the district’s Center for Advanced Professional Studies building.
Variety of Skills Embedded within Enterprise:
- Filling pots with soil
- Poking holes for seeds, cuttings
- Pouring paint
- Handling fragile plants
- Playing with colors
- Appreciation of their work and others
Hobbies/Caring for Something:
- Watering or putting ice in the soil
- Positioning for proper sunlight
- Transplanting as plants get bigger
- Adding purchases
- Making change
- Counting money
- Communicating with customers
- Answering questions
- Learning about cost vs. profit
- Determining what materials to reorder
- Deciding what to do with profits
- Going to the bank and making deposits
- Dumping change into a change machine and exchanging a receipt for cash
- Making deliveries
- Picking up donations
- Shopping for needed materials
- Watching things grow
- Learning about plant life cycles
- Plant needs
- Plant parts
- Different ways to grow plants (seed, transplanting seedlings, taking cuttings from indoor/outdoor plants)
- Propagating (cutting pieces of plants, putting them in water, and watching them root)
- Learning common and scientific names of plants
- Observing plant varieties and their characteristics
- Fun interactions with peers
- Meaningful purpose every day
- Increased interaction and embedded into the fabric of the school and community
- Recognition from the student body and beyond