THE WHOLE SCHOOL HOSTS EARTH DAY OPEN HOUSE – TUESDAY, APRIL 21st, 2015
Tuesday, April 21st, The Whole School welcomes interested parents and their children to our Earth Day Celebrations happening from 2-5pm at the school (5614 Highway 6). Join us to learn more about our school and to learn more about sustainability, food systems and growing plants through interactive activities for children.
“This is a magical event where parents can take the opportunity to talk to our Principal, Anniah Lang, and other staff about our program and see if our school would be a good fit for their family,” says Tara Harvey, school board member.
“The Whole School program emphasizes connection to the natural world through our outdoor leadership program – Earth Day is an important celebration for the students and the focus this year will be on food systems and our new school garden,” explains Anniah.
This year, the students decided to explore the question: How can developing a compost system and a school garden help us reach our healthy living goals? With the generous support of the Healthy Living Inquiry Grant, the students implemented the bokashi composting system. Now they are ready for stage two: using the compost they generated this year to grow a school garden.
This spring, The Whole School will implement plans for a permaculture garden project at the school. The garden will provide food for the school’s weekly hot lunch program that the students help prepare, in addition to giving the children experience with developing a garden, growing plants themselves and the principles of permaculture. “It is our hope that the garden will become a key piece of what makes our school unique – a platform for learning and community engagement,” explains Nashira Birch, teacher.
Students will be the key participants in garden design, building, and upkeep. The garden will provide a healthy, outdoor space for curricular learning and then they will use the produce to learn about nutrition and food preparation (through the hot lunch program) and food preservation. The Whole School students plan to work alongside community members, food bank clients and staff/volunteers to grow healthy food. They will become garden experts, leading tours and workshops for community members and other schools.
Nashira has been an educator since 2004 through a variety of community-based programs – from teaching preschool to adventure therapy to developing and implementing children’s programs focused on environmental and global citizenship.
Anniah Lang, in her second year as Principal, continues to bring her expertise to The Whole School using the Circle of Courage model – a positive youth development model based on the universal principle that to be emotionally healthy all youth need a sense of generosity, independence, belonging and mastery.