Wednesday, March 16, 2011

This Is Our Vision

View of side fence, Lower Yard

Lower Yard front fence looking at Broadway

Our vision is to create a 'Reading and Learning Garden' for our students, that will give them a lovely place to sit and read or just hang out. It will give our inner city kids a chance to gain practical knowledge about gardening, nutrition, and our environment, as well as some cool opportunities for applied scientific and mathematical learning.

Donated 1/2 wine barrels are intended to kick-start our garden - getting some quick growing plants in the ground, for the students to enjoy before the end of the school year. Planning for longer term expansion, more planters and other garden elements will be added over the summer break.

Our Students' Garden Wish List

Wish List:
Outdoor broom & dustpan,

Volunteers needed for:
gardening tasks,
art projects,
blog postings.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Original Lowes Grant Application (Abridged)

Project Budget:            $7,000

Project Schedule:

October 2010 – Submit grant application
Nov/Dec 2010 – Research and apply for other funding and donation sources
January 2011 – Finalize plans based on funding received, Order needed materials
February 2011 – Build raised garden beds and trellis
March 2011 – Install benches, Plant flowers, bushes, trees
April 2011 – Assign maintenance tasks, Grand opening of garden

Project Description:

Our community has two main goals for this Reading and Learning Garden project: to enhance classroom lessons with active, hands-on, outdoor learning, and to expose our students to nature.

John Yehall Chin Elementary School is an urban school, located near San Francisco’s Chinatown. Many of our students spend most of their time in the city. Our first-grade teacher said, “A lot of my students are afraid of dirt because they have never put their hands in it!”  We feel fortunate to have dedicated teachers who make the time to teach science. We know that our students would learn so much more if they could see, hear, touch, and taste nature, right in our outdoor classroom.

Teachers are excited about our plans, and have started adapting their lessons to incorporate the garden. Science classes would plant seeds, transplant seedlings, study the parts of a plant, track plant growth, study worms and microhabitats, and grow vegetables. Art teachers plan to have students observe color and shape variations and draw what they see. Math classes would be enhanced by outdoor counting, adding, measuring, grouping, and symmetry lessons. English teachers see opportunities for reading, story telling, and journal writing.