Woolly School Gardens Profile: Melrose Elementary Math Science Tech Magnet

Jun 07, 2010

Woolly School Gardens is in the midst of a month long effort to bring school gardens to 250 schools across the country. Each of these schools has a story to tell. Their students are eager to begin growing plants and learning about nutrition. As we spread the word about Woolly School Gardens, and ask for your support, we thought it would be woolly to profile some of the schools in line to receive gardens.

Today, we visit Melrose Avenue Mathematics/Science/Technology Magnet School located in the heart of Hollywood, California! Kim Lansill is helping the school coordinate their garden project and was kind enough to tell us about the school! Kim tells us she loves the principal and teachers, who are passionate and driven to help their students succeed! They have all embraced the new magnet status and garden program, and work hard to implement programs that benefit the students!

Hi Kim! Thanks for taking time to tell us a little about your school. Please tell us a little about your school’s student population.

Our school is comprised of 350 diverse students. Demographics of the student body: 57% HISPANIC, 20% WHITE, 11% AFRICAN AMERICAN, 7% ASIAN, 2% FILIPINO.

Why does your school want a Woolly School Garden?

Last year we started our Garden Initiative which means making our school “green” with grass, native plants, vegetable gardens etc…  Since 75% of our school is concrete we need to get creative….hence the Woolly School Garden.

Are the students familiar with gardening or will this be a new experience for them?

Currently we have 6 raised beds that the kids have experienced this year. They have planted seeds and seen them grow into edible vegetables.

What skills and/or lessons do you hope to teach in your Woolly School Garden?

Many families live in apts with no backyards or traditional garden options. This will teach kids and their families that there are options that are effective and ornamental.

Is health and nutrition a concern for students at your school? How do you see the School Garden addressing those concerns?

Absolutely, a few parent volunteers teach the kids about the gardens and how it relates to nutrition and the food we eat. The gardens and nutrition classes have opened their eyes and made them rethink what they put in their body.

Do you think students will appreciate the experiential knowledge of gardening for themselves? How do you see that benefiting them in other areas?

Gardening is great because you see the process from beginning to end and it doesn’t always work out. Some seeds dont germinate and grow and others do. Why is that? The kids are getting to see all this. When it does work they hare so happy and they eat the food they grew. When if doesnt they have to wonder why and start over making changes.

What other benefits do you see in creating a school garden? Are there specific needs the children have that the garden will address?

This year our school turned into a Science, Math and Technology Magnet. The gardens have been a huge part of our science curriculum. The kids study the raised beds once a week with their class. They have journals for writing and drawing what they learn and see. They learn about pollination and when plants “go to seed”. One thing I love is that kids see where food can come from. The supermarket dosn’t make vegetables : )

The kids at Melrose Elementary Magnet NEED YOUR HELP! Vote today and everyday in June for Woolly School Gardens on Pepsi’s Refresh Everything Website!

To vote, click on the above image or visit WoollySchoolGarden.org for a direct link to the voting page! And Please Spread the Word! Thanks for your support!

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