I teach three classes of 7th grade math and three classes of 8th grade science at a K-8 school located on an Air Force Base in Florida. All of our students have one or both parents in the military, some of whom are currently deployed. Our students come to us from incredibly diverse backgrounds: many have lived abroad and most relocate every two years.
Between living in base housing or in an RV camp and moving so frequently, our students have never had the opportunity to build and grow their own gardens.
Because of our unique community, our students and their families have formed very close bonds with one another (and so have the teachers)! They are eager to show their support by participating in events that improve our campus life and bring us all closer together.
The materials that I am requesting will immediately be put to use in our school garden, which has been a long-dreamed-of project for our students. We currently have nine raised planter beds and are getting additional beds and soil provided to us through a grant, but we are still in desperate need of vegetables and herbs. When we receive the pepper, tomato, and herb plants, we will host a community-wide Beautification Day, where students and their families can help plant our new crops. Teachers from first grade up through eighth grade have already "adopted" beds and are eager to work with their classes on their new garden.
When we have planted our garden, science, math, and language arts teachers from first through eighth grade will use it to teach students about photosynthesis, cellular respiration, healthy eating, climate, and geography, along with many other learning standards.
Our students will learn invaluable lessons from their determination and teamwork. Most importantly, they will have the opportunity to "put down roots."
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