History of Garden & Program:
FSK has had a long history of love and respect for outdoor learning. The green space has been in existence for 6 years and prior to that there was a teacher led program engaging students with the garden/outside space.
We are currently working with Education Outside, which is a wonderful program that engages the students with nature and science; with a hands on experience in our school garden. As we have mentioned in prior PTA meetings the future of this program is in jeopardy of going away if they are not absorbed by a larger company. Jamie is our amazing garden teacher whom is part of this program and we are so lucky to have her. She has an innate ability to cultivate and inspire the kids to learn more about their environment and how to take care of it for the future.
We will know by January 2019 if Education Outside will be absorbed by another company. Even if this does occur, the scope of the program may change and we need to explore other avenues to continue to offer this outdoor education and green space to the students and families of FSK.
Alternatives ways to keep the program going - paths to explore:
- Research how other schools in district run and fund their garden programs? Focusing on those schools who do not contract with Education Outside (i.e. Lakeshore, Rooftop, Sunset etc.) Areas of information sought - Budget, hiring & managing garden teacher(s), payment of the garden teacher(s) and structure of their program.
- Funding - Research grants to apply for, reach out to non-profits and local corporations to ask for assistance.
- Building a stronger network of parent understanding of what this program means for their kids through outreach. Ideas - Morning announcements, signage outside of school & in after school, bring your parent to garden day, garden party and showing the fun and informative projects the kids bring home from class (i.e. sun catches, seed butter and other food items from the garden).
If you can help with any of these areas of research or outreach we would greatly appreciate your insight and time.
thank you for your support,