This April and May a group of about 30 students at The Graham School are going to take part in the creation and maintenance of a vegetable, fruit, and flower garden in front of the school. We will use the garden to help students learn about urban gardening, as well as growing, harvesting, eating, and preserving healthy foods in their own space during an all day long 3 week course.
We would like to partner with Local Matters and other local experts to provide a high-quality, long-lasting educational experience for our students. We would also like to give students the opportunity to visit and work with a variety of local community gardens and related businesses and organizations in order to provide a wide breadth of experiences related to gardening and healthy eating. The money that we raise via this campaign will fund:
- Creation and maintenance of the garden
- Expert-led workshops for our students
- Transportation to off-site experiences
- Plants, soil, and other supplies for students to start their own gardens at home
- Other costs related to the garden and the class
The potential long term impact of a vegetable and fruit garden at The Graham School is incredible. In the fall we plan to construct a greenhouse structure over the garden in order to grow produce year-round. This will give all of our students the opportunity to bring home cold-weather vegetables (i.e. kale, spinach, broccoli, etc.) to share with their families and friends throughout the school year. This could be an incredible opportunity that has a long term positive effect on our students.
Any amount that we exceed our goal will go to long-term and supporting costs of the garden including:
- A greenhouse or hoop house structure to extend the growing season
- Funds set aside for expansion of the garden in the future
- Rain barrels
- Compost bins
- Canning equipment
- A deep freezer
We will also be able to support the breakfast program that is funded by the Graham Parent-Guardian Community and staffed by volunteers. Many of our students rely on breakfast items provided by these generous volunteers in order to be mentally and physically prepared for the school day. Imagine how powerful it would be to provide fresh picked fruits and vegetables along with the options that are already available.
This project will also help our students better understand how they can take ownership of the food that they eat. It encourages participation from all members of our community because all students will have the opportunity to maintain the garden and to eat produce that we gather from the garden. Additionally, the garden will create cross-curricular educational opportunities for our teachers and students. Students could study photosynthesis, the history and social impact of community gardens, the history of American agriculture, applications of mathematics to gardening, ecology, and many other topics. Most importantly, they would have the opportunity to take a hands-on approach to this learning.
- $5 - A virtual high five!
- $10 - A personalized thank you card signed by our students.
- $20 - A personalized thank you card signed by our students and a picture of the garden in June after the students have worked their magic.
- $25 - Your name artfully written on a sign in the garden thanking our backers, a personalized thank you card signed by our students, and a picture of the garden in June after the students have worked their magic.
- $50 - A guided tour of the garden with the opportunity to pick a few fruits and veggies for yourself, your name artfully written on a sign in the garden thanking our backers, a personalized thank you card signed by our students, and a picture of the garden in June after the students have worked their magic.
- $100 - A t-shirt celebrating everything that is awesome about The Graham School, a guided tour of the garden with the opportunity to pick a few fruits and veggies for yourself, your name artfully written on a sign in the garden thanking our backers, a personalized thank you card signed by our students, and a picture of the garden in June after the students have worked their magic.
- $200 - At this level you will receive an honorary Green Dragon. Green Dragons are certificates that are awarded to students at The Graham School to reward them for doing something exceptional for or within our school community. You will also receive all other rewards listed previously.
Risks and challenges
One of the biggest risks that our garden will face is upkeep and maintenance, especially over the summer when students are on break. We have a few teachers and staff members that live very close to the school that have already volunteered to help out as much as possible. We have assigned a garden leader who will be responsible for coordinating volunteer schedules, attracting community members to volunteer, training volunteers, and maintaining the garden over the summer and throughout the year if volunteers are unable to.
Another challenge that we will face is helping students use what they learn about gardening and healthy eating in class to make their home and community a healthier place. To do this we will provide students with the knowledge and tools to create their own garden and communicate regularly with parents and guardians to encourage participation from our students' families.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (28 days)