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New Hollands tulips provide kids a Dutch treat
New Holland elementary fifth-grade teacher Gwenell Brown, left, and student Erica Thomas look for the tulip that Erica planted last fall in front of the school. - photo by Tom Reed

Big changes took place underground at New Holland Core Knowledge Academy this winter.

On a chilly day in November, students and teachers planted 700 tulip bulbs in front of the school. Since then, the trees lost their leaves, students tore open presents on Christmas morning and little green buds began sprouting on trees.

In the past few weeks, students watched as delicate stems and leaves pushed through the soil. Branquavious Jones, a fifth-grader at New Holland, said he’s been anxious to see how his tulip turned out.

"I was amazed when I saw them," he said. "I’ve never really seen a flower that I planted."

Branquavious said his tulip hasn’t quite opened yet, but out of the 700 red and yellow tulips lining the school’s parking lot, he knows exactly which one is his.

"When people drive by the school, they say, ‘Those flowers look good.’ Getting compliments is the best part," he said.

Erica Thomas, another New Holland fifth-grader, said she’s planted roses before and was very excited about planting the tulips.

"I think they’re better than the roses because they’re much prettier," she said. "It makes the school look prettier."

Erica said she hopes students get to plant flowers again next school year.

New Holland Principal Jill Goforth said that’s the plan.

"It’s something I hope we can continue through the years," she said.

Goforth said planting flower bulbs provides teachers a hands-on science lesson for the school’s 600 students. She said the tulips also beautify the school and celebrate the New Holland area’s Dutch ties.