LathamWorks students’ beautiful floral arrangements

The LathamWorks Vocational Program gives our students opportunities for paid, meaningful employment. One of their recent horticulture projects impressed and delighted Latham staff, families, and friends at our Year-End Celebration. Students worked together to create gorgeous flowerpots to place around campus and use as table centerpieces.

Katrina Kozak, Director of National Outreach, said that in addition to making these beautiful planters, learning all about horticulture, and maintaining them until the celebration, the LathamWorks students also offered for families and staff to take the arrangements home! Katrina talked with Vocational staff members to share highlights of the project:

Laura Heilmann, Career Services Manager, explained:

The students received flats of beautiful seasonal flowers hand-selected by our Maintenance Team. The students then arranged groups of flowers in the pots and planted them, selected and wrapped bows around the pots, and kept them watered until the Celebration. They also continue to water the large planters that remain on campus. Our Job Coaches did an excellent job teaching everyone about horticulture throughout the process.

Kevin Cole, Job Coach, followed:

We taught the students much of the basic principles of planting:

Leaves: When watering the plants, we made a point to explain that leaves are like the lungs of the plant, and like our lungs, we do not want water in them. (This explanation became common due to children watering the leaves) followed by an explanation of why we put the water in the soil.

Roots: They can be a blessing and a curse, from the way they help keep the plant stable and healthy by pulling nutrients and water from the soil, as well as how they can burden other neighboring plants.

Soil: We have a compost pile where we explained the purpose and process of making the soil rich, including the part that worms play in breaking down the nutrients found in the materials put in the compost.

Pots: The importance of picking the right pot, because depending on the plant, size may matter, as well as how with hanging plants, it is good to use plants that will drape over for better decor.

Pictured: Photos showing some of the planters and Children’s Program staff at Year-End Celebration last month.

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