Jefferson Primary Center preschool teachers Lynette Dorsey and Melanie Richeda not only spoke about the success of the school's Community Garden at Thursday's Summit Board of Education meeting but also brought bushels of produce to share with attendees.
The garden, planted in spring in front of the building to the left of the school's entrance, was funded by theJunior League of Summit, with additional support coming from The Summit Area YMCA's Action Communities for Health, Innovation, and Environmental Change (ACHIEVE); ACHIEVE is a healthy foods and living initiative created by the Center for Disease Control.
Among the many items planted were tomatoes, sunflowers, eggplants, cucumbers, green beans, thyme, lima beans, string beans, radishes and peppers.
Dorsey and Richeda explained how they used the garden as a way to teach JPC preschool students about nutrition, agriculture, and ecosystems. The teachers said while the garden provided educational opportunities across the curriculum it was also a fun way to incorporate parent volunteers who helped out with cooking demonstrations using hot plates in the classrooms.
An open house was held at the Community Garden during the summer to invite former students and their families back to see how the crops were progressing.
Children who attended the extended school year program also had an opportunity to work in the garden daily.
Going forward, the teachers said they'd like to see kindergarten students have a chance to explore all the garden has to offer as well.
Dorsey and Richeda shared the fruits of the school's labors with the public who applauded their efforts.