Sales support students
Students at three Catawba County high schools are trading holiday decorations in exchange for more learning opportunities.
Bandys, St. Stephens and Bunker Hill high school classes are selling poinsettias to support their greenhouse programs.
Students have learned about the plants and how they grow, and the community can now purchase the products of those lessons.
"It gives the kids an opportunity to see how to grow the crops," said Shannon Vanhoy, an agriculture and horticulture teacher at Bandys.
"Also, it's an opportunity to put money back in the program to do some additional labs and some additional experiences with them."
Bandys and St. Stephens bought their poinsettia plants from a Taylorsville dealer this year. Students in horticulture classes at the schools help take care of the plants and prepare them to sell.
"We water them, baby them and teach (the students) poinsettia care," said Rebecca Johnson, a horticulture and agriculture teacher at St. Stephens. "Everything we raise then goes right back into the greenhouse program."
Bunker Hill received $500 for supplies in its agriculture and horticulture programs this school year, said teacher Danny Montgomery.
"We spend about $6,000 in two semesters in our greenhouse program alone," he said.
"We need the sales."
Teachers at the three schools said a variety of colors — including reds, pinks, whites, maroons, marbles, burgundy and multi-color — are available.
Plants are available by calling or visiting the schools.
Depending on the poinsettia size and the school, a single plant costs $5-10.