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|Project Title: ||School Community Garden|
|School Year: ||2006|
|School - District:||Mary O Pottenger - Springfield|
|Contact Name:||Diane Kontoff|
|Content-Area(s):||Arts, Mathematics, Science & Technology|
|Grades:||K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5|
|Community Need:||Community Development|
|Brief Description of SL Project: |
Students in Grade 3 have designed and developed a small community garden at Mary O. Pottenger School. This garden was researched and planned by the students. The students used math skills, science and social studies resources and community partners to meet educational standards. The students also composed music, and are still in the process of writing music that is “garden” orientated. They have performed in concerts at school. Our garden also meets the criteria for a National Wildlife Habitat.
|The Community Need the Project is Meeting:|
Science, Social Studies, and Language Arts content were tied together while addressing the need to contribute to and beautify the schoolyard and neighborhood. The project made a positive impact on the students and the neighborhood.
|Service Component: |
The project is ongoing. It was started in the beginning of the 2004-2005 school year and continued throughout the 2005-2006 school year. The students participated in a full six-hour cleanup both years and many other hours planting, watering, weeding and doing other garden work during the year. The entire school enjoys the garden, as do the people in the local community. The garden had an impact on everyone involved.
|Connections with Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: |
All third grade Music standards were addressed (Music standards 1.1-1.5). Science standards addressed include- Animal Habitats and Plant Growth and Development (Standards 2.1-2.3, 2.5, 2.9-2.10). Mathematics standards include measuring in feet and inches, estimating, and using basic addition and multiplication facts (standards 2N.2 and 2N.3).
|How Youth Voice Helps Shape Project:|
Students can have their say in a project like this when it comes time to select what flowers are planted or what color the planters should be painted. Giving students responsibility can create a feeling of ownership of the project.
|Student Reflection Component: |
Reflection activities that the students engaged in included writing garden songs and poems, as well as using journals to write about their work in the garden. Last years students discussed their feelings after the garden had been vandalized and plants were stolen. They talked about how it made them feel. Students wrote letters to local companies asking for donations for the garden and reflected on what their support would do for the school, students and the local community.
|Community Partners Involved: |
Community partners could include local home and garden stores, non-profit organizations devoted to community development and beautification, or local government’s parks and recreation department.
|Demonstration/Celebration of Students' Work: |
Two family nights were held each school year with a total of four celebrations over the two years. There was a family night held in the fall and again in the spring each year. In June of 2005 a garden dedication was held. Students performed on their recorders and sang the songs they helped write during these programs. The Community Music School and the Chorus from Caanan Baptist Church on Carew Street performed at these celebrations as well.
|Evaluation of Project's Impact:|
Students completed pre- and post-surveys about the service-learning project. They also wrote journal entries and had discussions about the life lessons learned while taking part in the project. Student work and responses were used to evaluate their response to the garden project.
|Challenges/Solutions Identified by District:|
Funding to keep the garden project going, more community and parental support, garden plants were stolen during the 2004-2005 school year. However, students were on the local news and Caanan Baptist Church, teachers and the Springfield Parks Department, along with many other people, donated to rebuild the garden.
* 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.