Gandhi once said that "we must be the change we wish to see in the world!" Our students are always eager to learn STEAM through meaningful and cooperative hands-on explorations in order to become the "agents of changing in our world" for the better, one lesson at a time. They keep this positive attitude towards solving problems in our community and greater world despite facing the extra obstacles that growing up in high poverty, an urban neighborhood often brings to their young lives.
I teach in a pre-k through grade eight, public, elementary school where one hundred percent of our student body qualifies for free lunch.
We are proud to serve in an extremely culturally diverse school with the highest percentage of students whose families currently reside in temporary living conditions of any school in our city.
This project seeks to bring all of our students together, from prekindergarten through grade 8, for the purpose of bringing our school garden beds to life. Older students in middle school will buddy up with our younger students as they read aloud to them from the numerous picture books this project needs, such as the NASCO Big Book Garden Collection and From Seed to Plant, a highly motivating and engaging picture book by famous children's author, Gail Gibbons. As some students are reading in our picnic area next to our garden, others will be teaming up to plant seeds and seedlings of numerous types with the new Toysmith Kids' Garden Tool sets, of which we are in need.
"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need!" Cicero, Roman statesman from over 2,000 years ago said this and this project fulfills this quote.
Seeing adolescent students, who sometimes are struggling readers themselves, more motivated when reading to younger students in our garden is simply priceless! Our students will start on Earth Day this April 22nd, but will work throughout the year participating in gardening activities both in and out of the classroom. Reading the gardening books together will help teach the sciences of botany and horticulture, along with actually getting hands dirty through actively planting in our garden beds and starting seedlings throughout our classrooms. The work will continue over the summer months as our garden plants will need further watering, cultivating, and harvesting. Produce collected will be used for teaching about healthy nutrition as students will be able to create and eat salads, smoothies, and grilled veggies. This project will also serve as a catalyst of bringing in more support from our parents and other community supporters!
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