Ruth Gomez S.T.R.E.A.M Department

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1 By Ruth Gomez S.T.R.E.A.M Department

2 CHECKLIST FOR GARDEN SITE DEVELOPMENT Form a garden committee of students, teachers, administrators, parents, community members. Currently, (4H members, Ms. Kelley, Cassandra Weston- Hainsworth) Select Garden site plan (please refer to map) - Designate garden areas, classroom beds - Paths - Tool shed/storage area - Greenhouse area - Compost area Outdoor classroom area with tables and shade - Water system - Sink area and drinking fountain - fence BREAKING GROUND Organize a community work day fundraising opportunity 4H club organizes Purchase Tools and materials Order seeds Acquire plants Soil Test Add general soil amendments Establish a compost pile purchase compose bin Garden sign 1

3 egg pupa larva ONGOING GARDENING Cultivate garden beds Plant and transplant Plant seeds in classroom and transplant into garden beds Designate a garden bed by two grade levels in the elementary school, for example (a) pre-kinder and kinder*, (b) 1 st grade and 2 nd grade* (c) 3 rd grade and 4 th* grade (d) 5 th grade and 6 th grade* middle school will have their own separate garden beds 7 th grade alone and 8 th Grade alone. Clipping into containers Cloning into containers Plant seeds into containers MAINTENANCE Water Plants as needed Weed beds Provide protection from pest and harsh weather Harvest crops Maintain compost pile Plant cover crops 2

4 Add fertilizers Add mulch THE GARDEN THROUGH THE YEAR The living laboratory, an extended outside classroom will vary in needs depending on the time of the year and will change harvest with the seasons. The living laboratory could also be used as a summer initiative in science as part of an environmental education summer camp. By allowing students to learn in the living laboratory during the summer the garden will be maintain throughout the year round. It will be important that all students and adults be instructed in the proper use and care of tools. Set up a consistent training program to teach the basics of safe tool use. Saint Mary Cathedral School S.T.R.E.A.M Department will be partnering up with Florida International University, University of Florida Homestead Extension program, Miami- Dade Community College Earth and Science Department, 4-H Agents through UF, Home Depot, in order to educate our students, staff, administration, clergy, and community on Agriculture and it s practices. TAPPING THE COMMUNITY RAISING FUNDS AND MORE Donations of money and materials from community members, businesses, and charitable organizations will enhance our living laboratory program. Fundraising may provide the Life Lab special science equipment, reference books, observation science journals, greenhouse, fence, compost bin, pavers, sun sails, garden arbor, outdoor sink station, tables, benches, and a rain barrel. There is a good chance that we will have labor donated by the Agriculture Department from Florida International University garden students. (Contact has been made and in the works). Currently, we have the University of Florida nutrition grant and partnership with the Master Gardner program from the University Of Florida, Homestead Extension. Support from the agents of the 4-H clubs. 3

5 Starting Locally, Home Depot Lowe s Improvement Center Wholefoods Vitamin Shoppe Target Parents, the friends and relatives of faculty and staff, and neighborhood businesses. Nurseries Local Farmers Garden Clubs Next, the school will be partnering up with Saint Mary Cathedral Church in order to have networking support from parishioners. SOURCE OF FUNDS For cash contributions I will be writing and contacting Kiwanis Club, the School Site council in our district, PTO, Community Foundation Grants, Citibank Garden grants, City Beatification project - ( I have contacted the commissioner s community liaison), State and Federal Grants, Local Banks, and local and national garden clubs. Making Every Donor a Friend I will be responding to every donation with a Thank You letter. The letters will be hand-written by students. I will be keeping a record of all donations. I would like to acknowledge large donations with a certificate or plaque incorporated with a life lab special event. I would like for us to set up a yearly program of donations such as seeds for wisdom $20.00 and the donor will have their name added to our friends of the garden book, 4

6 soil for growth $40.00 and the donor will have their name added to our friends of the garden book, fertilizer for health $60.00 and their name will be added to the friends of the garden book. All for one and one for all $ and they will be honored at a breakfast, letters from students, and have their name added to our friends of the garden book. KEEPING THE SPOTLIGHT ON THE GARDEN LIFE LABORATORY Through local media coverage and community support we will be able to keep our life lab extended garden classroom in the spotlight. A positive interest connected to Saint Mary Cathedral School and Saint Mary Cathedral Church. Generating good public relations can also involve our students. I will be contacting NOAA, (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and connect with a community liaison in order for the students to compile weather reports and have them call it into NOAA or even a radio station. Have students read their garden poems to NPR, or have students work on a press release about an upcoming garden fundraising party. EVENTS AND SPECIAL ACTIVITIES 5

7 Special events revolving the extended outside life laboratory will be a great way to come together as a school and parish. It will also give members of the community a way to get involved as well. Events will be simple and elaborate. Planning of events will include the creative ideas of students. At an event the school could sell plants or flowers even garden produce. Usually the first event held at a Life Laboratory is a Dedication and/ or Groundbreaking Ceremony. The event is an early introduction of the program to the community and should include everyone who is involved or was involved or who would like to get involved. This is a great opportunity to invite the media and local commissioners. A few examples of events: Planting or Harvesting Festival Life Laboratory Science Fair A night under the skies - performance by students Garden pot luck The above events can also be used as fundraiser 6

8 TEACHER TRAINING I will set up a program to enhance the skills of volunteers, teachers, administrators, and staff who may not have a strong background in garden-based education. I will coordinate with Master Gardeners alike University Agriculture professors to train our staff and strengthen garden skills and strengthen the S.T.R.E.A.M program. 7

9 8 Let s work together to problem solve and help communities in a macro level as we enter the 21 st century with 7 billion people whose hopes are to give their family the basic necessities. Through the living laboratory I will be able to explain and connect sustainability and the environment to a broader understanding of the challenges in economics, societies, natural environments, and political governments. Students will be given the tools and knowledge that they will need in order to fulfill our promise as Catholics of being the voice and helping the poorest of the poor. The basic ideas of THE LIVING LABORATORY is to have students connect and analyze infrastructures and become stewards of our natural environment.

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