While we have a unique opportunity to spend time at home together, we’re excited to introduce some special content, with inspiring stories and spotlights on our incredible students and teachers. We’d be thrilled to hear from you if there are any meaningful moments or recent projects that you’d like to share with us.

Fairmont middle school student Josiah G. is a young and enterprising Eagle Scout. Last year, he put his Eagle Scout project to work for our younger students, creating a way for kindergarteners to study ecology and sustainability through their own garden.

Josiah had heard Fairmont North Tustin was endeavoring to create planters for the kindergarten and pre-kindergarten classes. He decided to take on the project, seeing it as the perfect opportunity to serve younger students and develop a new level of experience.

The project required significant planning and construction. Josiah took extensive measurements to get approvals, visited wood shops, learned how to build wood artifacts from construction workers, and chose to transplant existing lemongrass plants at the site to a more suitable part of the campus. At one point in the planning process, Josiah ran up against a significant threat to the project. “It was a very scary experience,” he says, “because I didn’t want to be shut down halfway through and let the kindergartners down.” He decided to meet with someone at City Hall to consult him on the best approach. After eight months of planning, Josiah was finally approved to construct and assemble the planters for the kindergarteners.

Josiah realized that he wasn’t going to be able to physically manage the weight of the materials himself, so he chose to enlist a small team that he guided through the process — something that became an extremely meaningful part of his experience. “It was eye-opening to lead in different ways,” he says. Finally, the garden was fully approved to present, with five attractive raised planters and an elegant divider, prepared perfectly for the two kindergarten classes and pre-kindergarteners. The lemongrass plants were also thriving in their new location.

Now, the kindergarten students are able to study ecology through their own handiwork, and the pre-kindergarten students are learning about plant biology as the garden grows. Thanks to its close proximity to the classrooms, the kindergarteners can “walk right out and start planting,” and they have been thrilled to see their healthy, growing plants throughout the day.

One of the most rewarding aspects of Josiah’s project has been the thank you notes he’s received from the students. He says he’s even framed a few, and he’s warmed to see how much his work has enriched the learning experience and brought the young students joy. Josiah occasionally visits the classroom to see how the kindergarteners and their gardens are doing.

You can find Josiah’s planters flourishing with the students’ tomatoes and flowers just outside the kindergarten classroom at Fairmont North Tustin.