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Friday, January 19, 2018

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Greetings From Gail

January 16, 2015

January 16, 2015 Newsletter

"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need." Cicero

I am happy to report that we received a grant from VRP for $2500 for school gardens at Samuel Morey. Each class's garden will have a different theme. Here they are:

Preschool: Rainbow Garden - Preschool students will grow a garden of flowers and vegetables with many different colors of the rainbow. This will help them learn colors as they see the magic of growing, living things.

Kindergarten: Stories about Gardens - The Tale of Peter Rabbit and other stories about plants and gardens will be a vehicle to teach reading, writing and science concepts. This garden will help kindergarten students think about where their food comes from, distinguish between fact and fiction, observe roots and soil and draw and write about their garden. This will connect with their unit on living and nonliving.

First Grade: Butterfly and Insect Garden - The first grade garden will consist of plants that attract butterflies and other insects to connect with their science unit on insects.

Second Grade: Three Sister's Garden - This garden connects to their study of Native Americans and their science unit on plants. They will explore what other gardens the Native Americans planted.

Third Grade: Integrated Art Garden - The third grade garden will ask students to use their imagination in designing an aesthetically pleasing garden. They will create art projects for their garden such as signs, garden maps, adding artwork and sculptures to their garden. This garden will be an integrated art project with the art teacher where the art teacher will plan some art lessons using the plants too. 

Fourth Grade: A Harvest Moon Garden - This garden will have plants that are round and ripen in the fall such as squash, beets, potatoes, etc. Fourth graders study the solar system.

Fifth Grade: Experimental Garden - The garden for fifth graders will be a student experimental bed! This garden will encourage student involvement and innovation in the garden. They will conduct experiments. Some of the plants in this garden may not thrive or be successful.

Sixth Grade: Victory Garden - The Victory Garden will connect to a social studies unit which focuses on the role of the citizen in a community. Students will learn how millions of Americans grew Victory Gardens in backyards, rooftops and in window boxes during WWII to supplement their wartime rations and help spur victory. Students will also create recipes with the ingredients of their Victory Garden.

Library: Herb Garden - The librarian would like to plant an herb garden and use as an analogy for planting seeds for reading.

Background to Project

We propose to establish classroom gardens that support our existing curriculum. In Richard Louv's book Last Child in the Woods he describes how a closer connection with nature can be beneficial to children in many ways. In this age of technology where so many of our students are "plugged in" at home and the push towards more technology in the classrooms, including the new SBAC assessments,  we need to create a balance for our students by including more hands on experiences with nature.

Classroom gardens can encourage environmental stewardship and a greater connection with nature. When children learn the needs of the individual plants they are growing, they have a reason to care about all the things that impact its success.

Classroom gardens that grow fruits and vegetables can help improve students' attitudes about particular foods and may have an impact on lifestyles and nutrition. Students are more likely to try eating vegetables they have grown themselves. 

Students and teachers will plan, plant and maintain their classroom gardens with the help of community members and local gardening organizations such as Farm to School and Master Gardeners. Each class will be assigned a master gardener from our community.

So, here is where we need your help!! We are looking for master gardeners in our towns that could be a mentor for a class or grade. If you know someone or you are,willing to be a mentor, please e-mail me.

We are also looking for help getting the wood to build the gardens and volunteers to help build them. 

There will also be a meeting on February 19th from 2:00-4:00 to plan the gardens for each class. Joseph Kiefer willmbe here to facilitate that meeting. Joseph is a leader in school gardens in Vermont. He co-authored the book, Integrating Youth Gardens Into Schools & Communities. Please e-mail me if you can attend or know someone else that would be interested.