AUBURN — Edward Little High School teacher Kim Finnerty is asking the public to vote for her class early and often — every day — now through April 21.

Finnerty teaches a hands-on “chemistry through agriculture” class to high school students where they learn how to garden while learning science.

Last year, 20 students applied to be in the class. “I had to beg kids to sign up,” Finnerty said. This year, 88 have applied. 

The class will be offered to more high school students next year, with possibly five agriculture classes being offered, Superintendent Katy Grondin said.

But more money is needed to support part of the program called “garden buddies,” in which high school students teach younger students. This year, high-schoolers are working with Park Avenue Elementary students, teaching them about plants and helping them create a school garden.

With hopes of expanding agriculture lessons, Finnerty has applied for a “Seeds of Change” grant from an organic seed company that awards money to projects.

The first stage is a popularity vote. “People go online, they search Edward Little High School, ‘chemistry through agriculture’ and vote once a day,” Finnerty said. “The top 50 go to the second phase.” The top two vote-getters nationwide will receive $20,000, the next 13 will receive $10,000.

If she wins, Finnerty would like her students to work with children at Fairview Elementary School.

And, she added, “I would love another greenhouse.”

To vote online, go to, click on the vote box and enter the name of Edward Little High School in Auburn, Maine.

People can also vote via Facebook and the Edward Little High School website.

Also, the Walton Elementary School garden is seeking votes on the same Web page, hoping to get a grant allowing it to hire help to work with students and preserve fruits and vegetables. The school is looking to have a garden supervisor.

Grondon said Finnerty’s ag class has been a hit. “It’s an exciting opportunity to have students really get a hands-on experience relative to what they’re learning,” Grondin said. “It’s one thing to learn in class; it’s altogether another to put it in practice.”

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