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Flower design class a hit at Filer High School

Teacher Jennifer Cummins says the unique program gives students hands-on business experience.

FILER, Idaho — At Filer High School one of the agricultural classrooms is packed with flowers.

The ornate floral designs are crafted by students, under the supervision of teacher Jennifer Cummins.

Cummins, who also teaches animal and plant science, says at first she wasn't sure how many students would be interested.

"At the beginning, I was a little worried," she said. "I started the floral program when I came here to filer four years ago and started with a small class of six and now I have 30-50 kids in it."

Cummins received a CapEd grant to buy equipment and a floral cooler, and gets the flowers used in class through a wholesaler.

"They start with entry-level stuff, how to treat the flowers, to some of the more advanced designs. When it gets to the point where students have taken two semesters or so, they start planning for the other classes and help me out a lot with choosing the designs for the regular floral design class, as well as doing the ordering for me," she said. "They come up with the supply list, the cost, how much we're spending. So it's a good experience, we try to run the class as close to a real floral business would."

The classes even have a business name - "Sunshine Flowers." Cummins said many of the completed floral arrangements end up brightening someone else's day.

"At the beginning of the year, we have a subscription program where people can sign up to get one flower arrangement a month," the teacher said. "Those subscriptions cost about 20 dollars and covers all the expenses, plus allows for a little extra so they can do more flowers in class."

Cummins' students have even done the flowers for local weddings and other special events, getting real-world experience before they leave high school. 

"The kids love delivering flowers, they love seeing the faces of the people they're delivering flowers to," Cummins said. "They get a sense of accomplishment."

If you would like to nominate a teacher who is going above and beyond, send us an email to innovativeeducator@ktvb.com. Educators, for more information on submitting an application for a classroom grant through the Idaho CapEd Foundation, visit www.capedfoundation.org.

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