Garden Elementary is the 10News School of the Week powered by Duke Energy FL

The students, faculty and staff at Garden Elementary are the 21st 10News School of the Week powered by Duke Energy Florida for the 2017-18 school year.

VENICE, Fla. – It’s our favorite part of the week! Friday leads us into the weekend, but it’s also when we showcase our 10News School of the Week powered by Duke Energy Florida.

This week we spent time on the campus of Garden Elementary in Sarasota County.

Academics are important at Garden Elementary, but it’s not solely the focus when you talk about educating these Gators.

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Helping students develop character, embrace diversity and how to make a difference in the world are just a few goals set out by the faculty.

Watch: Garden Elementary principal speaks with 10News

This year the entre school read the book “Only One You” by Linda Kranz. The main characters are fish and through the book the “parent” fish shares life lessons and wisdom with the “young” fish that they can carry with them when they venture on their own.

From this, spawned an idea to have every student in the school paint a rock (fish inspired of course) that will then be used to create a rock garden composed of all the painted rocks. It will be a central location where are the diverse rocks will be placed in unity.

A visual parallel of how each person is unique and we should embrace each other’s differences and work together in unity.

It’s a big project, but just one way the school is reinforcing the concepts.

Students paint rocks for the Venice community with words or pictures exhibiting kindness and then leaving them in public. It’s really taken off.

The teaching of kindness continues in art, music and all the classrooms from kindergarten to fifth grade. Teachers say they’ve already noticed a difference in their students and they’ve shown to be less stressed about tackling rigorous academics. It’s just one reason the school is our 10News School of the Week powered by Duke Energy Florida.

Watch: Duke Energy Florida presents Garden Elementary with check

If you have a recommendation for 10News School of the Week powered by Duke Energy Florida, email us the name of the school and tell us why they should be featured to We’re looking for elementary, middle and high schools.

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Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to see more about the school throughout the week. If 10News is out at your school, make sure to show your spirit by snapping pictures and tag them with #SendTo10. That way we can find your photos and post them here!