Jonesboro-Hodge special needs students get to work with Ag students.

JONESBORO-HODGE, La (KNOE) “These are going to be pretty hanging up in my house,” said Mary Wiley, as she walks out of the greenhouse on the Jonesboro-Hodge High School campus.

Mary Wiley is one of the lucky residents of Jackson parish to get some freshly grown flowers from the Jonesboro-Hodge High School horticulture department. The agriculture students partnered with the Special Needs class to grow all sorts of flowering plants throughout the school year.

“Working with the special needs kids, they took the time out and the dedication to show them things they didn’t know. They took time with them to show them how to water the plants. They took time with them to show them how to do it then stand back and let them do it,” said Jimmy McCree, Ag/Vocational teacher at Jonesboro Hodge High School.

“This is something we hope they can take with them after they leave and get a job working at a greenhouse somewhere. Then the other kids with their skills and we work together. So it helps everybody," said Donna Avery, Special Needs/Life Skills Teacher at Jonesboro-Hodge.

Avery combines classroom instruction with time in the greenhouse. This is the second year the Special Needs students partnered with the Ag class. Last year they grew vegetables. For Tristen Patton, an Ag student, it’s a positive experience on many different levels.

“It gets you not only out into the real world but it teaches you about life,” said Tristen Patton, who’s about to be a Junior at Jonesboro Hodge High School.

At the end of the school year, the students sell their plants to the public. Proceeds from the plant sales go to the two classes. It helps buy materials and supplies for next year.