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Green Zone

Our Green Zone program uses the gardens and classrooms and the act of planting and maintaining the gardens to teach. In the act of weeding, watering and planting students learn about the natural environment and science concepts, but Green Zone is also a lens to talk about everything from culture, to math and arts. Volunteers and teachers work together to bring age-appropriate learning into the classrooms. For instance, Pre-K students work on a “sense garden” and learn about smell, taste and touch. Kindergarten students may learn about capillary action – the way plants draw water against gravity up the stem. First graders may chart seedling growth. All students learned about “three sisters” method of agriculture – how and why Native Americans planted corn, squash and beans together and the verbal history – stories – that made passing this important agricultural practice from generation to generation possible. An important annual event is our harvest festival, where students, teachers and parents eat a meal with ingredients they grew themselves.

Each grade creates a circular theme-based garden and has grade-appropriate learnings:

Pre-K: Sensory Garden
Kindergarten: Pizza Garden
1st Grade: Caribbean Garden
2nd Grade: Colonial Kitchen Garden
3rd Grade: Salsa Garden
4th Grade: Three Sisters Garden
5th Grade: Healthy Snack Garden
6th Grade: Salad Garden
7th Grade: Plant Structure Garden
8th Grade: Pollinating Garden