DAPHNE, Ala. (WKRG) — Daphne High School teacher, Betsy Anderton, noticed the pandemic put a strain on students and teachers. To combat feelings of fatigue and stress, she found a way to make them feel at ease when coming to school.

Recently, the two teachers were granted $2,000 from Voya Financial, Inc.’s 2022 Unsung Heroes awards competition. Voya is a corporation recognizing teachers who go above and beyond for not only their students but their staff and school district as well.

Anderton said the money is being used for essentials like greenhouse tools, gardening tools and pots for the plants. She and her fellow teacher, Priscilla Dabney, came up with a solution called biophilic design.

“Biophilic design has to do with bringing nature inside and our innate tendency to learn better, feel better,” said Anderton.

Anderton and her students created gardens full of plants, which will soon be on display throughout the school.

We realized we had this unique opportunity to grow house plants and put a plant in every teacher and staff’s classroom, so everywhere the students go there’s nature, in every single room,” said Anderton.

During class, students work outside in the garden or greenhouse. Anderton said this helps students take their minds off things and relieve stress. 

“Oh I am so excited, it’s been great decorating the classroom, this is a brand-new building, so it’s been wonderful to start fresh with this concept of Biophilic Design and put all these natural elements inside, it’s been really fun,” said Anderton.

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