House of Blooms, the student-run greenhouse at , will open for business April 30 and sell a variety of annuals and vegetable plants.
Students in the school’s Special Service's Transition Program have been busy cultivating the Impatiens, Coleus, Geraniums, Petunias, Marigolds, Celosia, Bacopa, Verbena, Lantana, tomato plants and pepper plants for months.
They plan to begin selling them at 8 a.m. on April 30. The sale will run from 8 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. and from 1:45 to 3 p.m. that day in the school greenhouse (located behind the tennis courts) at 201 Colorado Ave., Frankfort.
“This year’s crop is outstanding,” said Lincoln-Way East Transitional Coordinator Joshua Kreske, who has been helping students cultivate the flowers since December. “The plants are healthy and looking beautiful. Past customers have stated that the flowers they purchased from us last year looked fantastic all summer long and that they are excited to return to our greenhouse this year.”
About 40 students have been involved in the project, which was initiated by Lincoln-Way East’s Special Services Department. The goal is to help students learn various job skills.
Students have been working in East’s Special Services greenhouse each day, learning everything from how the greenhouse operates to the different parts of plants. They have named their business House of Blooms.
“The combination of the hands-on, real life experience along with the development of the greenhouse curriculum serves as a meaningful educational opportunity,” said Carolyn Brescia, the Coordinator of Special Services at Lincoln-Way East. “It is my hope that House of Blooms will allow our students to grow academically, further develop and enhance their social confidence, as well as increase their job opportunities in the future.”
“Our students are very hardworking,” added Kreske. “I want them to feel confident in themselves so that when given a task, they can complete it. Also, I want the students to feel a sense of accomplishment.”
This is the second year students have sold the fruits of their labor. They sold Impatiens, Coleus, Geraniums, Petunias and Begonias to the public last year but added Marigolds, Celosia, Bacopa, Verbena and Lantana to the mix this year.
The tomato plants and pepper plants are new to House of Blooms as well.
“Being our second year at this, the students have really improved and shown growth in their abilities to grow different varieties of flowers and vegetables,” said Kreske.
Students plan to sell the geraniums for $3 a six-pack or $18 for a flat. All other annuals will be sold for $2 for a six-pack or $12 for a flat.
The potted plants, including Wandering Jew and Swedish Ivy, will be sold for $5 a plant.
The vegetable plants will be sold at various prices.
Proceeds will be used to further develop transitional opportunities and experiences for the East students in Special Services.