Acts of Kindness: Katia Cheetany

HENDERSON, Nev. - A garden oasis has sprouted at John C. Vanderburg Elementary School. The garden features everything from arugula to tomatoes to radishes, which some students had never of until now.

"It's a new experience," said fifth grader Helena Mardirossian.

The garden club is fifth grade teacher Katia Cheetany's vision.

"We're trying to show the kids there are a lot of benefits of growing a garden in the desert, and it works," she said. "Because they planted it themselves, (they're) very excited to try it."

"We've learned to not plant too many plants in one spot," said fifth grader Alexia Stein.

The students meet once a week to nurture the garden, but you'll find Mrs. Cheetany there every day before and after school. The garden looks lush and dense now, but it's taken a few attempts to find the right soil.

"We had our first growth, first harvest - it was going very slow," Cheetany said.

So, she pulled everything out, brought in new soil and started over. It was a time consuming endeavor, but it worked.

"We don't even think sometimes when we are purchasing certain items, because all you think about is once these kids have these items in their hands, what kind of experience are these kids going to have?" she said.

Cheetany's tireless effort is a big reason parent Shauna Walch nominated her for 8 News NOW's weekly series Acts of Kindness.

"All over the district, we have teachers in overcrowded classrooms. They have few resources, and they still give more and more of themselves," Walch said. "She's really one woman who really gives everything she has for the children."

8 News NOW is rewarding Katia Cheetany – giving her $800 for her acts of kindness.

If you want to nominate someone for Acts of Kindness, visit our website or e-mail us.


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