My blogs have been really random lately, and this will be no different.
WebMd is a funder for many programs here at the school, including the garden program.
That being said they brought Alice Whitaker, the director of Lotts Creek Community School, and myself out to an Diego to look at some of their other projects.
We toured 2 free clinics, a major medical clinic that serves undeserved Latinos, and an art school/ gallery that educates homeless children called ARTS- a reason to survive.
But, this is a gardening blog, so why I am talking about this?
Well we visited a school called Golden Avenue, which is in one of the poorest areas of San Diego. It is a grade school with around 1200 kids, of all races and mainly minority. Despite all of the challenges they face, many of which mirror those of Appalachia (funding!!) they do many amazing things. They have murals, art, music, high test scores, a free clinic in the school, and so much more. They have the most wonderful principal I have ever met.
What is relevant to this blog is that they do gardening- and lots of it. They have the gardens within the school!!! The way there school is built they have many open walkways, and all of them have gardens in them! I wanted to take pictures, but I was reluctant because school was in session and kids were everywhere- im a stickler for privacy.
They use the gardens for education, and they used to let parents, staff, whoever take the vegetables. But now, they sell them on the school grounds as the parents come pick the students up! That way parents and teachers buy the vegetables. The students are able to not only plant and watch the vegetables grow from literally inside the classroom, but they do things like math and finance to decide what to charge! It was an impressive set up, and we are stealing the farmers market idea this fall.
Where I admire there program is where the vegetables are right there and no one bothers them. The students all feel an ownership and no one takes or damages the produce. Id want that so bad for my school, but readers of my blog here know we have already had vandalism twice, and I just dont think we can have that right now because of a couple of bad apples.
Other than that we were so much on the same page with Golden Avenue! The principal’s name was Rick Oser, firstname.lastname@example.org if other schools out there are interested.
Once we returned home I was AMAZED at how much the rain made our stuff grow. I will have new pics here soon!