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      Friends 'go green' with Carver Academy

      "It really to me almost feels like a sanctuary in here", said Friends of Carver Academy Coordinator, Arzella Kay as she stood in one of Carver Academy's three greenhouses.

      But a few years ago, those greenhouses were anything but that.

      "We had a grant in the past that provided for our environmental sciences program and that grant has gone away", said Carver Academy's Principal, Steffanie Chew.

      After that, the greenhouses suffered.

      Luckily, Carver has a few new "friends".

      "We saw the great need to get this amazing resource back into shape so the kids could make full utilization of it", added Kay.

      The organization Friends of Carver Academy stepped up to help the school with maintenance needs, financial assistance and even new curriculum for the program.

      "We're committed to seeing that happen," said Kay. "To see that the children are learning how they can, in their future and for their children utilize the resources that we have in the high plains."

      "It's about conserving, it's about mulching, it's about composting, it's about reusing things," added Chew. "One of the big issues in front of us is rain, rainwater and the lack of water and how can we do that more efficiently."

      Chew says three greenhouses -- one for growing plants traditionally, one for hydroponics and one for raising fish -- are great ways to teach our youngsters those skills hands on.

      "You get to learn your science objectives and you get to get dirty, you get to learn about things," said Chew. "You get the opportunity to move around and it's not traditional paper and pencils."

      Eventually, that could save them a few bucks.

      "With gas and oil prices, it makes perfect sense to being to train and educate people other ways to do it", said Kay.

      Yes, it pays to go green.

      F riends of Carver is still looking for more volunteers or monetary donations. If you'd like to help, you can contact the group at 426-3002.