BY BETH KERR
CAPE COD COLLABORATIVE
Goals, objectives, and activities
This grant is submitted for the Garden Project Outdoor classroom at the Cape Cod Collaborative on behalf of our 54 special needs students.
Our goal for the garden program is to provide our students with an opportunity for a multi-sensory experience to learn academics, life skills, gain exposure to community service, improve understanding of proper nutrition and develop a sense of responsibility for team work.
The objective for this year is to plant a Three Sisters Garden, corn, pole beans and squash. The garden incorporates the history of the Meso-american societies who originally planted these types of gardens. Math is used to plan, measure and graph a typical Three Sisters garden. Students will learn how this garden provides nutritional balance; corn as the carbohydrate, dried beans are rich in amino acids and squash provides essential vitamins.
Students along with staff will prepare the area to be planted by first removing gravel and leveling the area. A new fence will be put in place to deter the many animals that visit our garden. Next new compost will be delivered and students and staff will spread the soil and lay out the diagram for planting. Seeds will be planted indoors first then placed in the green house and finally transplanted outdoors. Students assist in watering, feeding, weeding, harvesting and finally preparing the vegetables to be eaten.
How will the project be evaluated (e.g. how will you gauge its success)
The Garden Project is evaluated by an ongoing sequential timeline and anecdotal observations. Students participate in a Level Behavior system and data is collected throughout the student’s day. the garden program provides the opportunity to practice the skills in a social cooperative learning environment.
Benefit to the students and the school
The Garden Project Outdoor classroom or as we call it “The Friendship Garden” is beginning it’s fourth year here a CCC. The sense of pride that our student’s take away from this garden is extraordinary. We are still cutting flowers for for art classes. One of the many benefits of this garden is the ability to utilize it’s resources in a variety of classes projects. For instance, the flowers that are being harvested now are being dried by the art teacher and will be used to make center pieces for the tables at our school’s Family Harvest Feast. This Thanksgiving style lunch is provided to our students and families each year.
Teachers will often find spontaneous teachable moments, whether it be agricultural, nutritional or social. Our students learn and retain information better with a hands on approach to learning. Having a Three Sisters Garden is a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate sustainable farming practices in our garden.
Budget (Please detail how funding will be used. Itemize as appropriate.)
Yardgard 14 gauge vinyl galvanized welded wire fence $124.00
seeds $ 25.00
________ Total $349.00
Timeline of Project (when will you do the project, if applicable.)
The area will be prepared in late fall of this year and in the early spring or as the weather permits. Seeds will be started indoors in March and placed in the green house until the temperatures are above 50’F for outdoor planting. The garden will be maintained by students with staff support throughout the summer and early fall.