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McBride Elementary students learn all about bugs that live in the school's garden with the help of volunteers

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: NICOLE THILL - Debbi Brimacombe, right, and Elizabeth Griffith, a third-grader at McBride Elementary School, look at a winged aphid crawling on a leaf in the school's garden Tuesday, May 24. On Tuesday, May 24, a group of 25 students who are participating in McBride Elementary School's new garden club, which was formed in March, gathered to learn all about bugs — and which types of insects live in the school's garden.

Earlier in the school year, St. Helens School District nurse, Tish Hora, helped create useable raised garden beds on the school grounds to teach students more about gardening, growing their own food, and math and science skills. On Tuesday, volunteers from the Master Gardeners of Columbia County brought insect education samples to teach students about different insects and how they each eat. After a short lesson, students and volunteers went to the garden to find some examples of such insects. Meeting once a week and with the help of three volunteers, students have been growing vegetables in the garden which they plan to eat at the last club meeting of the year on June 7.

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: NICOLE THILL - McBride teachers Katie Marsh and Leanna Hubbard work with students in the garden club to find plants that bugs had eaten on Tuesday. Students found everything from slugs to mites to spiders in the garden courtyard.

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: NICOLE THILL - Sue Hart, a three-year Columbia County Master Gardener, asks students questions about the mouth structures of different insects. The students tried to find examples of those insects in the garden.