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Can-o-worms Contest Essays

Our March cover story, “Cooking Up Compost,” invited kids ages 13 and under to tell us why they wanted to win the Can-O-Worms composting system.

It was an extremely hard task to choose only a handful from among 62 creative entries because they were so thoughtful and insightful, covering themes of recycling to saving the world.

The winner, drawn at random from the published excerpts below, will receive the Can-O-Worms composting system, a retail value of $159.99, from

The system is provided from Gardening with Kids, a nonprofit organization that provides a growing audience of more than 500,000 educators with grants, lesson plans, hands-on activities, books and curricula, as well as education tools and free online resources.

Go online to for grant information, to sign up for Kids Garden News, and content. Product resources are also available online at

Dirty hands, wiggly worms
By using the compost and Can-O-Worms, our school would not have to buy as much rich soil to put around our flowers and shrubs. Students and teachers can compost their leftover cafeteria food. If we win the Can-O-Worms, we can use the compost to beautify our school because the compost will help our plants grow. In addition, we can visually see the food chain process. Worms are decomposers, which are a part of the food chain.

Composting is good for the environment. By composting, we are recycling our food. In turn, we are reducing the amount of garbage in the landfills. The composted materials help our plants grow without the use of harmful chemicals.

While we are helping the environment, we are also having a little fun. We get to touch the wiggly worms and get to enjoy the outdoors. This would be fun because we would get to get our hands dirty and help save the environment.

It would be great for us to have this composter so we can give our plants rich soil. It will also help us breathe clean oxygen because the plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen.

Alyssa Wray, 4th grade, Hogsett Elementary, Danville
Inter-County Energy Cooperative

Helping others
First, we could use compost instead of purchasing potting soil for our greenhouse, which would save our school money to buy different things such as spare pencils. If we save enough, we could donate the rest to the Jordan Light Foundation. When my sister had a compost pile, she grew a garden and sold the flowers to raise money for the Jordan Light Foundation.

Secondly, we could begin an herb, vegetable, and flower sale for school, then we could use the money to buy notebooks, binders, and folders for kids who can’t afford them.

Thirdly, we could grow snacks for lunch, then we would know that the food doesn’t contain pesticides, that the food is safe to eat, and it would make the students healthier. My mom grows vegetables for my sister, brother, and me, and we are all healthy.

Dylan Branham, May Valley Elementary, Martin
Big Sandy RECC

Slimy superheroes
I would like to win the Can-O-Worms because it is good to recycle. Recycling is good for the earth and all animals. If we recycle more items, they could be useful instead of being thrown away. Food scraps can be recycled in a Can-O-Worms. The worms eat food scraps and turn them into very good fertilizer. The fertilizer can be used to grow more plants and trees.

I used to see worms and run them over with my bike before I knew they could help save the earth. Now I know worms help to recycle so I can try to save them. I want a Can-O-Worms because the worms are slimy superheroes. I have learned they are not for stomping, they are for chomping. If we get one we can help save our planet.

Parker Norvell, 2nd grade, The Green Team, Corbin Primary School
Cumberland Valley Electric cooperative

Black gold
That’s what we call it at our house. I’m talking about compost. My name is Corrin Bedwell. I’m interested in the Can-O-Worms composting system for my after-school program, Team Ultra. It is a program focused on healthy eating and exercise.

This year we started a greenhouse and two raised beds. In the greenhouse we kept tomato seedlings. Daily someone would record the height of the plants, temperature inside and outside the greenhouse, and the weather. In our raised beds we grew lettuce and radishes. Because of the weather and poor soil, the radishes didn’t make it long.

I think if we had a composting system that our soil would be better and give the plants the nutrients they need to grow. I hope that if our greenhouse does well, we can use those vegetables for our school lunches. Even though this is my last year here, I would still like to know there are fresh veggies for the lunches our school provides.

Corrin Bedwell, 5th grade, South Marshall
Elementary School, Benton
West Kentucky RECC

Living science lab
I would like to win the Can-O-Worms composting system for our garden because it would help keep the soil fertile and produce nice fruits and vegetables in our garden. I would use the worm compost to add nutrients to our soil. Composting helps the environment by reducing waste and keeping it out of landfills, as well as recycling food byproducts.

Since our economy has become so unstable, people have started to grow their own food and become less dependent on the grocery store. By growing our own garden, we can have fresh fruits and vegetables that are less expensive and healthier. If we had the Can-O-Worms composting system, it would help us to grow the best possible garden.

Lastly, my brothers and I are home-schooled and we use our garden as a living science lab. We are learning about what to plant, how to plant it, and how to make it grow. By having the Can-O-Worms composting system, we could also learn about worms and their life cycles.

Madeline Sparks, age 10, The Sparks Academy, Cynthiana
Blue Grass Energy Cooperative

Good soil, good food
I want compost. And I am going to put it on my garden. Compost is nutritious for plants. We’ll feed my worms kitchen scraps. We want the worm farm to get some nice, good soil so we can grow food on our Kentucky farm.

Caleb McQuitty, age 6, The Grace School, Albany
South Kentucky RECC


More Can-O-Worms entries
To read other entries telling why kids should win a Can-O-Worms composting system—as a bonding activity for the family or for a special gift to light up Mom’s eyes for all she does—go online to Can-O-Worms.

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