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'This is a haven': Retired educators tending to Dallas school garden amid coronavirus pandemic

Two retired educators have found a way to give back to their communities in difficult times.

DALLAS — Catherine Southwick and Becky Christensen are both retired educators who could easily have stayed retired and isolated at home during this pandemic. But instead, they've tended to a little garden at Kramer Elementary in Dallas.

"This is a haven for me during this pandemic. Coming here helps keep my routine normal," said Southwick.

Southwick has been an educator for more than 45 years and was an educator at Kramer Elementary for 29 of those years before retiring. She returned soon after to help with the school's garden, and she routinely met with students for instruction before the outbreak and school closure. 

"I love being in this garden, but the kids aren't here," cried Southwick.

Christensen lives nearby the school and noticed the garden three years ago on a casual walk with her husband. She has been at the garden helping three days a week every since.

"She just has a big heart," Christensen said about Catherine. "If only we can remove the virus like we remove weeds," she said.

Two retired educators have found a way to give back to their communities in difficult times. Both will admit it is very difficult not seeing the children on campus. The 3 p.m. bell on campus still rings and it reminds them the children are not there.

The pair is working hard to make sure the garden is kept up for the children who return for the fall. 

"It has to be ready for them whenever they come back," said Southwick.

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