I love our elementary school… it completely rocks. Not only is it a school filled with awesome teachers, it also has a ton of parental involvement which adds so much to the environment of learning and enrichment. We have fantastic programs that are not only funded by the families, but completely staffed by dedicated mom’s and dads. This is especially true in the areas of art and music, which have been completely (and sadly) cut from the schools here in California.
One great parent-led program at our school is our community garden. The kids can go and work in the garden during their lunch time every-other Friday and learn about the earth and growing things of beauty with their own hands.
For Earth Day, our community garden hosted a planting day in honor of the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County. Each classroom came to plant one flat of squash… each student – dressed all in green — got to take a handful of dirt and plant their own little pink squash seed. And after the class planted their seeds, they took their flats back to the classroom where they will take turns caring for the seedlings — watering them and making sure they get sunlight everyday. When the seedlings are grown, they will be given to Second Harvest where they will help to feed the hungry in Orange County.
I was honored to be asked to be the photographer for this event. And over the course of the day I witnessed the kids having fun, eating samples of squash (kids eating vegetables!), and learning about how they can not only care for the Earth, but how they can use it and their talents to do something for people in their community who go hungry everyday.
Yesterday, I was walking outside the classrooms and saw that the students had put their flats of squash out to get sunlight in the afternoon. I was amazed at how big the squash had gotten in only two weeks! (see last photo).
It has inspired me to try (once again) to plant my own garden in my backyard. If nothing else, it will show my kids the joy of getting their hands dirty and the satisfaction of knowing that with hard work and patience, they can do something good for this beautiful Earth of ours.