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|Project Title: ||Community Garden Project|
|School Year: ||2007|
|School - District:||Hampshire Educational Collaborative - Hampshire Educational Collaborative|
|Contact Name:||Linda Enerson|
|Contact Phone:||(413) 586-4900|
|Content-Area(s):||Science & Technology|
|Community Need:||Health/Nutrition, Human Needs|
|Brief Description of SL Project: |
Students in the HEC (Hampshire Educational Collaborative) Academy science class designed and planted a garden in the community garden plot in Northampton. The students grew fresh vegetables that they then donated to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts in the later part of the spring semester and throughout the summer. The students also reserved a small share of the vegetables and prepared healthy snacks for themselves and classmates at HEC Academy. Students learned about botany, hunger and food security, as well as healthy nutrition.
|The Community Need the Project is Meeting:|
The community need identified by the students was that many people who live in poverty do not have access to fresh, healthy food. The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts makes every effort to bring in fresh produce, and is particularly appreciative when fresh, homegrown vegetables are donated. The project also sought to address the need for healthy food within the school environment, in which many students do not eat properly and are obese.
|Service Component: |
Services provided by students included donating food to Food Bank of Western Massachusetts for distribution to families and individuals in poverty. Students also provided healthy snacks for other students in their own school.
|Connections with Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: |
Biology 1.1 Recognize that biological organisms are composed of primarily very few elements (C,H,O,N,P,S).
Scientific Inquiry Standards:
SIS2 Design: Conduct scientific investigations;
SIS2 Analyze and interpret results of scientific investigations
Chemistry: Content standards: high school: 8. Acids and bases; 8.2 Relate H ion concentrations to the pH scale and to acid, base and neutral solutions.
In preparation for the garden planting, biology and ecology students worked together on soil-testing, seed starting, and composting projects at school. Classes studied plant biology and the nutrients necessary for plant growth, as well as principles of sustainable agriculture and organic farming.
|How Youth Voice Helps Shape Project:|
Youth made decisions about what to plant and what produce would be good both as preparation for healthy snacks and as well as donations for the Food Bank warehouse.
|Student Reflection Component: |
The project was documented with pictures, and the participating students developed a bulletin board that they presented to other students in the school. The presentation included participants describing their reflections of what they learned through the project. The students made the presentation when they prepared healthy snacks for the rest of the student body.
|Community Partners Involved: |
The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts was very appreciative of receiving the donated fresh vegetables (many donations they receive are non-perishables and do not provide the nutrition that fresh foods are able to do). The Food Bank picked up the fresh vegetables that had been washed and sorted by the students on a weekly basis throughout the project.
|Demonstration/Celebration of Students' Work: |
The students had a Garden Pizza Party at the Community Garden site in Northampton, celebrating the food they had raised. In addition to pizza, students brought food made in the school from vegetables raised in the garden.
|Evaluation of Project’s Impact:|
The project’s impact could be evaluated through a student-run interview with the food bank staff to gain a greater understanding of how the donated fresh vegetables enhanced the services the food bank provides. The project’s impact could also be evaluated via a survey of the study body to determine if the availability of the food grown through the project encouraged more students in the school to eat healthy foods during the day.
|Challenges/Solutions Identified by District:|
* NOTE: This project summary was written by the district/community. Any text in italics was added or modified by the Department (ESE). Most of these projects were supported with Learn & Serve America funds distributed through the ESE.