Last school year our social adjustment community class built four raised garden boxes. Our goal was to fully immerse students in the cycle of food production, from seed to the plate. Students grew plants from seed, harvested & prepare food. This hands on project allowed students to have the opportunity to create and maintain something that would provide so much positive to the community. The vegetables grown were harvested to be used in our school healthy snack bins. Finally over the summer community members looked after the gardens and got to take whatever vegetables grew home for their families. We would like to add benches to enhance and create an inviting space.
The students in the social adjustment class are working on self regulation, attention and focus. They struggle to build and maintain peer relationships and working
cooperatively as a member of a team is a daily goal.
We are working with our students to build on their sense of worthiness, sense of purpose and a connectedness to something larger than themselves.
Incorporating hands on learning activities and creating opportunities for students to give back to the larger school community has shown to be both rewarding and helps them becoming more stress hardy.
Our goals is to create a place of gathering for the students and community. At all points throughout the day people can seen around the garden beds exploring with curiosity. Throughout the school day students and classes often frequent the gardens and sit on the ledges as there is no other place to sit. For this project we would like to have students plan and build benches to be placed around the gardens. In our school and greater community there are limited places for people to walk to and just be with themselves in nature. In the fast paced world that we live in it is becoming ever so important to have a safe comfortable space where one can mindfully connect with themselves and to the environment.
Reflection & Celebration
The success of our project is seen everyday when students and community members gather to continue to enjoy what the students have created for them. The individual successes can be best heard when you hear a student sharing how they created the bench with a peer, staff or community member. This is a project which started last year and we are planning to build on it yearly. Another possible projects are getting a shed to store all garden materials, building a rainwater collection system to water the gardens and growing the space to include more places to sit and trees to create shade.