The Hope Garden was an awesome place to be this summer, virtually and in-person. The garden, at Shelton’s Evergreen Elementary, was a living classroom. As part of the 21st Century summer program, 33 students (via Zoom) were able to “walk-around” the garden with their teachers. They learned about the different plants, how they grow, and even how they taste. Students grew their own vegetables and shared their findings with their classmates.
“There’s nothing better than listening to kids describe what their veggies look like,” says Nicoe King, Student Support Coordinator. “And it’s also pretty funny when they disappeared on the screen because they wanted to get something to show you.”
In addition to virtual learning, families were able to reserve 45-minute sessions to work in the garden. They watered, pulled weeds, and learned about the different veggies as they grow.
All materials for the program were available in English and Spanish. “It was critical to the success of our program,” said Alana Lujan, Student Support Coordinator. Having materials in two languages helped both students and families. “Our Spanish speaking parents felt right at home during visits to the garden,” she said.
Lujan believes the summer program had a positive impact on the community. “Our program provided our community with the chance to engage in a positive manner across cultural, generational, and language barriers,” she said. “When we celebrate our differences, I believe our similarities become even more apparent.”