Last week sixth graders from Toucheng Township’s Jhu An Elementary School who will soon graduate were tending to the school’s peanut farm, weeding for the last time and preparing the farm for the fifth graders to take over for them. Profits from the peanut farm will go toward travel expenses for the students’ graduation trip next year. The children also presented flowers as a surprise farewell gift to the outgoing school principal Chen Ming-chun.
When Chen took over as school principal eight years ago, he soon discovered that many of the students at the school come from poor households and were unable to join the other students for graduation trips, so the following year he solicited local residents to borrow a piece of land that would serve as the school’s “dreamland garden.” He subsequently designed a curriculum for the “Dreamland Project,” allowing the students to plant grapes and peanuts on the farm and put any profits made from selling the harvest directly into the students’ graduation trip fund.
This year’s peanut crop will be harvested in June, and this year’s fifth graders are preparing to take over responsibility for the farm when they move up to sixth grade, a symbol of passing on the baton to the next generation.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)