I am a teacher at James Simons Elementary. We are a Title One, Montessori school on upper King Street. We have very little green space. At recess children get excited if they find a snail shell. We are trying to change that by adding some raised beds and setting up an afterschool garden club. I would also like to incorporate art projects into the garden which would make the garden more unique and give the children a sense of ownership of the space.
I would use the money to buy art supplies, such as clay, underglaze, paint and wood. Our school has a kiln. I wouId buy clay and underglazes for the garden club. We would make garden stones that could be used to identify the plants we are growing. We would also make toad houses from clay. We could keep some at different locations at the school. Students and teachers could use those houses to make predictions about how well toad houses work, as well as which location is best for finding the most toads.
I am also interested in students and their families learning about the plight of the Monarch butterfly. We will make ceramic butterflies that can be hung in the garden or in classrooms. They can be given to families as gifts around November, when the butterflies return to Mexico. This gift can be used to begin a conversation about the Monarch butterfly, and how we can help them. We will also build or buy bird and butterfy houses from wood that can be painted.
All of these things will help bring back an ecosystem to this area. It will also provide students with the opportunity for peaceful reflection and the ability to observe their natural environment.