October 11, 2022




Bethune Preschoolers Learn STEM through Tree Planting Initiative 


(Gary, IND) – Last week, the Gary Community School Corporation’s Bethune Early Childhood Development Center preschoolers spent the day assisting with the tree planting on school grounds. The Pre-K program partnered with The Wetlands Initiative, The Student Conservation Association, The US Forest Service-CommuniTree, Audubon Great Lakes, and Lake County Parks and Recreation to plant dozens of trees in the back and front of the property, which is located at 2367 E. 21st Avenue.

Bethune Principal Erica Glenn shared that the scenic space will provide an inviting backdrop for students to learn and apply math, art, science, language arts, and more. In addition, the area designated in the back of the school will be a space where classes can come outside and learn during the spring months.

“This project has provided an opportunity for our scholars to take what they have learned in the classroom and apply it to a real-world project that is meaningful to them,” said Glenn. “These trees will grow and represent their legacy as one-time Bethune scholars.”

Leading up to the event, Jennifer Johnson, Wild Indigo Program Associate at Audubon Great Lakes assisted with the preparation of the students for the tree planting event. Johnson read the story, “We Planted a Tree” by Diane Muldrow, and facilitated discussions with the classes about the structure and makeup of a tree.

This project represents a part of the Gary Community School Corporation’s larger focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) education. The District credits this type of learning in helping prepare students for success in Kindergarten and beyond. 

For more information on how to support STEAM education in the Gary schools, visit