The Harvest of the Month for September is APPLES! Apples are a great snack because they are high in dietary fiber which keeps you feeling full and a good source of immune-boosting Vitamin C. Most of the fiber and vitamins are found in the skin so don’t peel before you eat!
This month, submit kid-created content for Edible Education’s first SPARK Harvest of the Month publication featuring APPLES. Kids can submit recipes, photos, poems, stories, cartoons about apples! Winning content will be published in our first SPARK library book and celebrated on the SPARK-e, the school announcements, and the school website.
Plan to buy your lunch on September 17th to taste locally-grown apples in the cafeteria. Also, join us at Atkins Park that evening to share a locally-made meal with your friends and family at the SPARK Dine Out.
Thank you to everyone that came out to our August Committee Meetings at SPARK! If you missed it, here are the notes from each of our meetings:
Environmental Education Committee
Edible Education Committee
Sign up to be on one our committees! Parents, teachers, students, and community members are all welcome!
The Greenspace Committee will maintain the rooftop garden as an outdoor classroom for Edible Education and Environmental Education classes. This will include the care of the seasonal garden, fruit garden, herb garden, bird habitat, compost systems, and rain catchments.
The Edible Education Committee will work in conjunction with the broader Wellness Committee and support SPARK’s Edible Education Program through school-wide events such as Produce of the Month, Fresh Fruit Fridays, Healthy Holidays, Farm to School Month, and Celebrity Chef Demos.
The Environmental Education Committee will support SPARK’s Environmental Education Program through school-wide initiatives including the maintenance of the recycling and composting programs along with promoting sustainability through events like the Waste-Free Lunchbox Contest, Walk to School Day, Pumpkin Chuck Compost Festival, Read for Recycling Day, America Recycles Day, and Earth Day Festival.
This summer, Springdale Park served as a model for Garden-Based Education across our city, state, and nation.
Throughout Metro Atlanta:
- Captain Planet Foundation – Photos and experiences of standard-based lessons from Springdale Park’s garden were shared with many teachers in districts across Metro Atlanta in Learning Garden Workshops hosted by Captain Planet Foundation.
- Community Farmers Markets – Lesson plans from the curriculum created for the Springdale Park garden were taught to children across the city at our local farmers markets – specifically in the neighborhoods of Grant Park, West End, East Atlanta, Westside, and Decatur.
Throughout the State:
- CBS “Focus Atlanta” – Springdale Park’s garden was featured on CBS’s “Focus Atlanta” television show. The interview focused on the garden serving as a model for other schools particularly in the area of gaining parent support and community engagement for deep impact.
- Georgia Organics – Lesson plans from Springdale Park’s program will be shared with schools across the state of Georgia during October for National Farm to School month.
Throughout the Country:
- The White House – Springdale Park’s standards-based Environmental Education program was recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Environmental Protection Agency in receiving the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Education. The trip to Washington, DC included an awards ceremony along with multiple presentations and panel discussions on the topic of spreading programs like Springdale Park’s to schools nationwide.
- FoodCorps National Conference – Springdale Park’s successful garden program was the centerpiece of the Teaching and Learning series at the FoodCorps National Conference. FoodCorps is a nationwide team of AmeriCorps leader who connect to real food and help them grow up healthy. The FoodCorps service members work in 500 schools across the nation.
We are incredibly grateful for Ms. Brown’s unwavering support in building an innovative, nationally-recognized educational program and we’re excited for another year of leadership in garden-based education!
SPARK’s 2015-2016 Garden-Based Enrichment Programs
This year, SPARK will be joining a nationwide network of Farm to School programs with our Edible Education program focused on the planting, harvesting, and cooking of fruits and vegetables seasonal to Georgia, along with an emphasis on the importance of supporting our local farmers and producers. These enrichment lessons in the school garden and the kitchen classroom will be offered to students in kindergarten through 3rd grade during classes’ regular weekly specials rotations for quarter 1 and quarter 4. This program aims to connect our students and their families with fresh, healthy, local food as well as our vibrant food community.
In addition to the Edible Education curriculum, second and third graders at SPARK will have the opportunity to engage in Environmental Education lessons focusing on the importance and methods of conserving our natural resources – from recycling and composting, to conserving energy, to protecting our clean air and water. These enrichment lessons will occur in a series of 3-week units throughout the year and will occur during classes’ Monday rotations. This program will highlight the features of our LEED certified building and emphasize the actions that can be taken to improve our community.
Meet your Garden-Based Enrichment Team!
Jenna Shea Mobley (Coordinator)
This year, Ms. Mobley is writing the Edible Education and Environmental Education curriculums, maintaining the community partnerships and programs, and leading the support committees: Garden Committee, Wellness Committee, Green Team.
Donna Taylor (Teacher)
We are thrilled to have Ms. Taylor with us at SPARK this year. She will be implementing the Edible Education and Environmental Education enrichment lessons for kindergarten through third graders.