Help me give my students carpet squares and an opportunity to get messy (and then clean it up with a vacuum)! Carpet squares will give us a comfortable way to gather in the garden and hold outdoor lessons.
I work with two schools of K-5 students at Title I schools. Students learn real-life skills with the FoodCorps member like cooking and gardening and are incentivized to make healthy choices at school meals. It is clear that this work resonates with the students and gives a chance for everyone to participate, including those with IEPs and special needs. Cooking and gardening is accessible to everyone, with no scaffolding needed. This program is incredibly equalizing in the classroom, as it decimates the stratified small group setup used in academic learning centers.
After their first recipe and harvest, students are quickly proclaiming themselves to be real FARMERS and CHEFS!
Please consider donating to elevate the quality of the FoodCorps experience, thus actualizing these vocational skills to a higher degree.
We can have so much fun planting and harvesting in the garden, but without a steady place to gather and reflect, we are missing out on a huge part of the learning. Social Emotional Learning is a huge buzz phrase right now, and for good reason! If we had carpet squares in our garden, we would be able to do garden meditations and practice the skill of slowing down our minds. The carpet squares would also give our students more agency in the garden, the ability to pick their own special spot without worrying about getting dirty or wet.
Maybe this student will pick the moist and mossy spot by the fence or a space under the shade of the mulberry tree; imagine what might awaken in their minds during that garden meditation.
A new animal spotted, a breeze felt more gingerly on the back of their neck, a weird cloud different than any they had seen before, a docile stink bug crawling up their leg and for the first time, they aren't swatting it away. Today, they decide to take a closer look, and notice it isn't doing any harm - this bit of patience and curiosity can be awakened, with just a bit of your generosity.
In the winter, we continue our pursuits in cooking and gardening but within the warmth of our school. I am a guest in every classroom I teach, and the continuity of FoodCorps counts on trust gained with the teachers at the school. A carpet sweeper, will allow me to not only keep the classrooms of my co-teachers clean; but, it will give me the chance to share this responsibility with my students. A carpet sweeper is an accessible cleaning tool for younger kids, thus imbuing them with more important life skills.
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