Check out this great video showing some of what the Green Street School’s 4th graders have been up to! This was shown at the 5th Annual 4th Grade Local Dinner Event!
Kindergartners had a great trip to Stonewall Farm on October 19th. Highlights of the field trip included hearing the life cycle story of the pumpkin and then interviewing the ‘Great Pumpkin’ with questions generated prior to the trip. We learned about pigmentation and chlorophyl in response to the question about why the pumpkin changes color as it grows. Children learned about and participated in the process of making apple cider and enjoyed drinking it as soon as it was freshly made.
This trip was a culminating event to our study of the pumpkin. Prior to the trip we had cut open pumpkins, counted seeds, peeled, cut and cooked pumpkins and baked pumpkin bread which we then used for a taste test at our OPEN HOUSE.
The Stonewall Farm trip is an organized learning experience designed by the educational leadership at the farm and runs smoothly with each class experiencing a story, an apple cider making activity, a snack and a hayride to a pumpkin field. The Stonewall Farm farmers/teachers are very knowledgeable and readily answer questions yet allow children thinking time and reflection for their own ideas and answers. Thank you very much Stonewall Farm!
Green Street School pioneered the first of the Brattleboro School Gardens in 2006 when the school received a Strolling of the Heifers grant to create a garden. Financial support from PATCHES, the parent organization has also been crucial, helping fund the initial ground work which transformed an overgrown hillside into a lovely mosaic of planting spaces and rock pathways. Parents helped with the construction and many local businesses made in-kind donations. For the past two years, a portion of the school’s fundraising proceeds have been directed to paying a part time garden coordinator to help teachers integrate the garden into their curriculum, and involve families in the maintenance of the garden.
Agriculture is integrated into many aspects of the fourth grade curriculum, and fourth graders at Green Street School have an intensive garden experience, working in the garden in small groups every Thursday
for about 40 minutes, studying natural resources through an in-depth study of soil, and participating in a series of farm field trips. For the past four years, as a culmination to this unit, students have spent a whole day preparing a dinner from almost entirely local ingredients (exception: salt, baking powder & spices!) to serve their families (~200 people) during an evening Celebration of Learning. Green Street parent,
Chef/owner of the Riverview Cafe, and Vermont Fresh Network Board Member Tristan Toleno assists with this annual dinner.
Green Street School also provides a healthy snack each day for every student, with the help of a grant from the Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Program (FFVP), contributions from parents, and support from the Brattleboro Co-op. During the harvest season, Green Street School snack program purchases all its vegetables and fruits from local farms. Students also enjoy the monthly taste tests and inclusion of local produce in the Green Street School fourth grade teacher Laura White chaired the district Farm to School Committee for a year prior to the hiring of our full time coordinator, and is thrilled to see the program continue to expand. She explains, “It is such a pleasure to see children eager to try the fruits of their gardening and cooking labor and like them! Parents have told me they then try these things at home, and have even started or expanded their home gardens as a result of their child’s school gardening experience. Farm to School is such an exciting and worthwhile program to be involved with; it is fun and it is effective!”