ACCORD Summer 2015 - page 12-13

Thegarden that5th-gradestudentsconstructed thisyearmay look
like a few planter boxes with herbs, fruits and vegetables, but it
represents farmore to thestudents involved in its inception.Before
the tools, seedsandplantsarrivedoncampus, therewasextensive
research, student-producedvideos tohighlight thehungerplight in
America, and even a presentation to school president Art Raimo.
In trueAcademy fashion, the5th-graders are livingout the school
motto “Esse Quam Videri,” or “To be, rather than to seem,” and
taking action with the global issues of sustainability, access to
healthy foodand food insecurity.
After receivingapproval fromschool administration, theclasswas
given permission to build its gardenwith funding from 2014 Cut
for aCureproceeds. Under theguidanceof 5th-grade teacher Erin
Lee, thestudentsplotted theirgarden.Eight largeplanterboxesare
currentlyonsite,withplans toconstructanoutdoorclassroomwith
tables and chairs. While the 5th-grade students, now rising 6th-
graders,willberesponsible formaintaining thegarden, thespace is
open forusebyanyAcademyclass.
Not only do students hope to produce enough food to donate to
local shelters or incorporate into SAGE Dining’s meals but they
hope to pay it forward and build gardens around town at local
sheltersorFaithChildren’sHome.There iseven talkofbuildingone
during the Dominican Republicmission trip. Student Logan Kant
saidof thegarden, “Really, it’smeant toprovide food, but abigger
benefit is that itgivespeoplehopeand inspiration todomore.”
Kant is taking it uponhimself todomore. Hebuilt agarden at his
and aeroponics gardening techniques, which he hopes to see at
the Academy garden. With outdoor space in high demand at the
school, aeroponicswould allow students to easily growhundreds
ofplantsat a time.
From an educational standpoint, thegarden is an excellent project
tomeet Next Generation Science Standards. Investigating global
issues, suchashunger, and takingaction tosolve them is thegold
standard inproject-based learning
,which iswhat thisgarden isall
about. Therewill alsobeanemphasisoncross-curricular learning.
The outdoor classroomwill provide experiment space, a religion
classwill focusonstudentsasstewardsofGod, social studieswill
emphasize social justice issues and Spanish classes will discuss
food indifferentcountries fromaculturalstandpointaswellas food
insecurity indevelopingcountries.
LauraCaroline Jung, whowas drawn to the community aspect of
thegarden and kidsbeing change agents, summedup thegarden
perhapsthebestbysaying,“Iwouldreally love it ifthegardenwould
beasymbol of theAcademyandbring theAcademy forward.”
Really, it’s meant to provide food, but
a bigger benefit is that it gives people
hopeand inspiration todomore.
- LoganKant, student
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