Cara Plott, former FoodCorps service member with Shanjida, a learning pupil at the Family School. I started my year of service as a FoodCorps service member at the Family School not really knowing what things to expect. Would I be able to find mentors to help me find out the needs of the educational college?
Would the institution administrators be supportive and excited about expanding the number of classes learning in your garden? Would teachers feel safe using the garden space? Would my students show patience beside me as I developed my teaching skills? And perhaps the most perplexing concern – how on earth could we employ a school of over 520 students inside our garden which had only four small rectangular garden beds and a circle of eight stumps to sit on?
However, I came across myself soonwelcomed into a residential area of teachers, administrators, students, households, and staff who have been thrilled to collaborate beside me to improve the culture of wellbeing at their college. Through these partnerships, we’ve made great strides in getting ultimately more classes growing in your garden, promoting fruit and veggies in the cafeteria, and developing our school’s culture of wellness. The beating center of the garden always has been and will be always, the teachers and students at the Family School.
“Is this your garden?” was a common question I would be asked by people moving by your garden as I used to be watering in the evening. “No,” I’d reply, “I am only a helper – this is the students’ garden. They planted the seeds and have done all the task. ” My main job was to support more teachers to use the garden even, and to identify and address the barriers keeping teachers from using the garden. Year This, for the very first time ever, we had all 13 of our Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade classes interacting with for lessons in the garden where they planted seeds, harvested, and grew their vegetables.
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During our classes we used our new “garden curriculum,” which we developed this season. The Garden Curriculum is an organized and easy to get at a group of garden lessons and accompanying worksheets which we chose to empower our teachers to use your garden more in their classes. The lessons were chosen and arranged with guidance from the instructors.
The goal of the curriculum is to connect educators with garden lessons that fit their needs so that they can continue steadily to do the lessons independently. In the fall, the lessons for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades shall debut. I had been so impressed by how our students took ownership of what they grew.
They were committed to every section of the process, including tasting their veggies raw when we gathered them. Our successes didn’t stop at the garden gate. We also had four taste tests in the cafeteria offering locally grown fruits and vegetables through the Department of Education’s Garden to Cafe program.