Truman gets ready to grow

TRUMAN – A group of Truman students is living up to its name, Random Acts of Kindness. If they feel there’s a need for their assistance, these youngsters in grades 3-6 step up to help, whether sponsoring a community movie night or making blankets for displaced children.

“We’re just finishing our second year now,” said Courtney Studer, who helped organize the group under the umbrella of Truman’s Community Education program.

“She’s very, very involved; we couldn’t do it without her,” CER director Sue Clabaugh said of Studer.

When a group of Truman residents met recently to “throw out different ideas” aimed at enhancing their town, the concept of a community garden was suggested, and Studer and Clabaugh felt the project would be a good fit for Random Acts of Kindness, commonly called RAK.

They joined forces with Lorna Craig-Paulson, administrator at Truman Senior Living, and developed a location and plan for a community garden at the senior site.

“We’ve got an excessive amount of land,” Craig-Paulson said. “We have a gorgeous flower garden every year.”

She credits the gardening expertise of the senior residents for the flourishing plants.

RAK will have a 20-foot by 20-foot plot. Other plots will be about half that size and available to any Truman resident for a $20 annual rental fee.

“The rent would go to Random Acts of Kindness to make it a sustainable project,” Craig-Paulson said.

“Both groups could benefit,” Studer said.

“They (RAK members) are very excited,” Clabaugh said.

“And our residents love kids,” Craig-Paul said.

Studer plans to have RAK members plant “easier” produce, such as tomatoes, peppers, onions and maybe some herbs.

“The kids are going to do all the planting, tending and harvesting,” Studer said.

Produce harvested will be donated for use in the school’s cafeteria or Truman Senior Living.

Even the youngest Truman residents will have a chance to help with the gardening, Clabaugh said. Four planters will be kept at the school so the participants of the child care program, located in the building, can help out.

“We’re going to do a kickoff May 13 after school – weather permitting,” Studer said.

She will have a sign-up sheet so RAK participants can pick time slots to work in the garden.

RAK meets monthly after school and “is open to all, in third through sixth grades, at no cost,” Studer said.

Anyone interested in donating plants, seeds or equipment, such as rakes, shovels and hoes, should email Studer at or they can be dropped off at the Truman school.

Any monetary donations will be used to purchase these supplies.

To reserve a garden plot, contact Craig-Paulson at (507) 776-2031