The Cedar Creek Lake Literary Club held its March 14, meeting in the Cedar Creek Library. The theme for decorations and refreshments was Saint Patrick’s Day.

The featured program was one of the most uplifting stories presented to the Club. It was a local success story that left the listener with a sense of amazement and pride about the spirit of the community. It was the story of “Miss Fran’s Teaching Garden” at Tool Elementary School.

The idea arose from the school principal and the original members of the Garden Club, that a pleasant, little garden spot should be created on the school grounds. The idea was to have the children plant things in the garden, so that they would have some personal understanding about how things grow. When the organizers began buying items for the garden, they were very pleasantly surprised at how local business owners would simply donate those items in support such a program. Texas Parks and Wildlife generously also provided a grant to help buy special items.

When they decided to name it, the unanimous choice was to honor Fran Sonka. For nearly 40 years, she had served the lake community and the children at Tool Elementary. She had served as president in several local organizations, was once the mayor of Tool. She still greets the children arriving at school each day with a hug so they would feel loved.

The children learned about planting, harvesting, and composting vegetables from members of the Cedar Creek Garden Club, which included several Master Gardeners. In one year, the garden provided over 1,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables to the local food pantry. The children who were most involved were granted the honorary title of Junior Master Gardener, and provided with a tee-shirt with that title.

The children learned about water conservation, how other plants could provide protection to the vegetables without the use of pesticides, how to create a way station for migrating Monarch butterflies, and more.

Above all, children were exposed to whole new vistas about the world. Curiosity and imagination were sparked, which will carry on in them well after the children move on from Tool Elementary. It is from children like these that future inventors, leaders, and entrepreneurs will arise. Interested members of The Cedar Creek community who might wish to become involved or simply visit should contact the school for further information. You can also go to to learn more.

This heart-warming presentation was made by Susan Hall, Carol Schatzmeyer, Debbie Boseman-Zook, and Billie Hathaway.

The next meeting of the Literary Club is at 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 11, in the Cedar Creek Library. Local author Jim Willi will present his latest Cedar Creek Lake mystery novel.

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