WELLSTON, Okla. (KFOR) – A teacher’s battle against the ‘fall fog’ caused by summers off, and ‘spring fever’ caused by the approach of summer break, sucks up a good portion of every school year.

Renee Buckley is used to it, as are her 3rd grade students at Wellston Elementary.

“To know what to do in a classroom,” she advises, finishing our thought.

As a result, in May, reviews are the order of the day, especially with guests in the classroom, a former 3rd grade teacher and some guy with a camera.

Photo goes with story
Renee Buckley speaking with her class. Image KFOR

But it’s the review itself that brought us here to learn a subject first covered in this class in February.

The kids took out an actual bank loan, bought and packaged a product (bird seed), and sold it to customers creating a profit of more than $800.00 which they donated to the Make a Wish Foundation.

“It changed their world and their own hearts,” says Buckley.

The class project is a great learning opportunity which is why this isn’t the first year it’s been done here.

In fact, this business unit stretches back to some of these kids’ own grandparents, and to Jeanne Yates, the teacher who started it back in 1981 in an effort to get a little media attention for her small-town school.

Photo goes with story
Jeanne Yates, a retired teacher returning to the classroom as a special guest. Image KFOR

Yates recalls thinking, “We’re just a little town and we get passed by.”

The class sold petunias the first year but that was too messy.

Over the next decade her class turned to bags of seed and donating to the, then, Cowboy Hall of Fame, even sending funds to Central America.

“I was a hands-on teacher,” she says.

Yates retired in 1991, a year after Buckley started her teaching career.

“As I entered my career,” says Buckley, “I called Mrs. Yates.”

Photo goes with story
Young students paying close attention. Image KFOR

A generation later here we are.

The seed project once bought a flag pole for the school and flags for the lunch room another year.

One seed planted more than four decades ago did more than just teach.

It grew a virtual garden still producing generations later.