Monday was so great! With help from a Jaci, a parent volunteer, we made the most wonderful beeswax and olive oil hand salve with Sylvia's grade 1 class. The kids grated the beeswax, then wandered the gardens to add a few flower petals and leaves to their own containers. Jaci chose a mix of essential oils: cedar, lavender and spearmint, and we scented the olive oil with a drop of lemon. Students crushed fresh peppermint into the vitamin E oil with a mortar and pestle, then we measured out the beeswax and oils, melted them at low heat in the oven, and voila! They smell so fresh and comforting! With covid, they're required to wash their hands so often and hand sanitize. This was something they could do for their own self care and comfort.
Then we made corn husk dolls with the Kindergarteners in the sunshine. I loved the imaginative play that ensued. Some built houses for their dolls. Others were so excited to share them with their siblings and families. And everyone took a turn on the slide ;)
Tuesday, we learned about bulbs and planted over 70 daffodil bulbs with the grades 1-2 class around the school entrance. Springtime will be beautiful!
Then the 2nd grade class learned about bulbs, estimated cloves per garlic head, then peeled and planted so much garlic in the front food garden. To end the day, they enjoyed some fresh, warm cinnamon apple sauce.
Wednesday, we planted two large trees with Michael Nickels of Seven Ravens Permaculture. Only two of the 44 trees planted for the past two Earth Days died this hot summer, one near the skate park and the other in front of GISS. In their places, Heidi's grades 3-4 class planted a beautiful and tall Japanese maple, and also a white oak sourced from the castle of Louis the Fourteenth!
We discussed the values of trees, photosynthesis, and climate change.
The trees were planted with extra compost, then hay mulched, and protected from deer with fencing. There was a teachable moment when we all pledged to be kind to earthworms from that day forward.
Thursday, three grades 5-6 classes conducted a review of outdoor learning spaces at SSE using this guide. I'm excited to compile their suggestions! We held an online fundraiser for outdoor learning, given the extra covid precautions, and now they can help implement some positive change at their school. Each class had a team busy making fresh warm cinnamon applesauce in the greenhouse, so we enjoyed a treat as we shared insights and recommendations for improving the schoolyard. Yum.