Our Middle Schoolers Return to the Plant Sale!!

This year our annual plant sale returns to its home at the Grandstand at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. This year also marks the return of our middle school students to the sale. Because of the pandemic, our middle school has not participated in the sale for the last two years (although many students volunteered outside of school hours!). Prior to the pandemic, our middle school students always had a large presence at the annual sale.

Posted May 2, 2022 (with updated photos from this year’s sale).

For three days every May our middle school students work at the sale. This year, Wednesday, May 4th – Friday, May 6th, our middle school students will come to school and then almost immediately get bussed over to the fairgrounds to pitch in with setting up and running the sale.  

Progressive Education and Working at the Plant Sale
Our middle school students are a very important part of the sale. They work incredibly hard to make sure the sale is successful. We are so appreciative of everything they do. As a school grounded in progressive education, their participation makes perfect sense. At the sale, they are learning by doing – by collaborating and working together. They are asking for help and direction when needed. They are helping shoppers with a variety of things AND they are doing all of that while having fun. During their work at the plant sale, other volunteers will often admire how hardworking, helpful, and knowledgeable our students are. 

While our middle school students are expected to work during the school day on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, many students go above and beyond those hours. Many will return to work the sale at night and over the weekend. 

Students in Key Leadership Roles
Each year, there are students who take on leadership roles at the plant sale. This is no small task. Prior to the sale, they attend plant sale meetings, identify student tasks, and partner to create a plan to get it done. When the sale arrives, they are leaders on site, directing their peers and checking in with the plant sale team to make sure everything is running smoothly. 

Alumni and the Plant Sale
The sale is probably our school’s largest annual alumni event. Dozens of individuals and groups of alumni come back every year to pitch in. There are also alumni in key leadership roles helping us prepare for the sale. 

If you are curious about the work our middle schoolers do at the plant sale, check out the list below for some of the tasks that they accomplish.

The plant sale is an incredibly important fundraiser for our school. It is also an important opportunity for our middle school students to contribute to our community and be a part of something that makes a difference for our school. Their contributions are meaningful and so appreciated.

Here’s to being together again as a community and working together to make a successful plant sale happen!

An Overview of Middle School Plant Sale Tasks

It has been a few years since middle schoolers have been able to help at the plant sale. We are including a high level list of tasks below if you are curious about what they will help us accomplish during their time at the sale.
– Unloading thousands and thousands of plants from semi-trailers.
– Setting up the unloaded plants in the appropriate places on benches.
– Solving the mysteries – identifying unmarked flats and figuring out where they go.
– Unloading and placing more plants on the appropriate benches. 
– Assembling tables for the curbside area.
– Setting up THOUSANDs of clipboards for shoppers and sharpening THOUSANDS of pencils. 
– Moving and arranging barricades, benches, tables and chairs. 
– Addressing last-minute details.
Friday is the official opening day of the sale (volunteers get to shop early on Thursday night). Students will come to school early on Friday so they can be at the sale before the doors open at 9:00.  On Friday, most of the student work is related to customer service. Students will…
– welcome shoppers to the sale.
– get shoppers carts, boxes, and clipboards.
– help shoppers when their carts are overloaded.
– answer questions and guide shoppers through the sale. 
– help shoppers find plants.
– help shoppers load their purchases into their cars. 

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