Madisonville fifth-grader receives grant for tornado memorial gardens

Madisonville fifth-grader receives grant for tornado memorial gardens
Published: Mar. 3, 2022 at 2:50 PM CST
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DAWSON SPRINGS, Ky. (WFIE) - It’s been almost three months since tornadoes devastated parts of western Kentucky. People are hard at work restoring affected areas, and one boy in Madisonville received a grant to build something special for a town trying to bounce back.

The “Courtyard of Curiosity” garden club at Pride Elementary School in Madisonville is a student favorite.

”Well, I love being outside,” fourth-grader Nyles Tapp said.

It’s even inspired some to think about how gardening could impact a community after a tragedy.

”We could plant flowers wherever it happened and make people cheer up,” fourth-grader Trinity Plunkett said.

This is exactly what one student decided to do. The teacher who runs the club received information on a grant from Youth Services America that could be given to bring children’s ideas to life.

She thought of Noah Allen, a fifth-grader with family in Dawson Springs.

Cleanup and rebuilding efforts are ongoing in that area, and Tapp thought about building memorial gardens for the people there.

”Where they can see the beauty and not think of the rubble and all of the destruction that went through their town,” fifth-grader Noah Allen said.

Allen worked together with his teacher to write the grant, which they received, one of only three across the country to get $2,000.

”Our students have always cared about their peers and local community, and this is just a greater expression of their hearts,” fifth-grade teacher Kelly Gates said.

The plan is to build three to five memorial gardens in downtown Dawson Springs by this summer.

They want the flowers in the gardens to be selected by the families of those who lost loved ones in the storms.

”And so we felt like that would be much more meaningful versus us bringing in a random plant,” Gates said. “It would be more significant to them if they had the opportunity to choose that plant.”

Allen is working to gather contact information and get in touch with affected families.

If you are interested in volunteering as part of the project, called “Beauty from Ashes,” reach out to Pride Elementary. You can also send donations to the following address:

Pride Elementary

861 Pride Ave

Madisonville, KY 42431

Attn: Courtyard of Curiosity

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