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GARDEN by Hazle Thunes, 5th Grade
“As long as I can remember our class has had the ability to go out to the garden and pick flowers whenever we were outside. There was never a question of not having a garden; it was just always there. I still remember making all sorts of various flower bouquets and sun tea that rarely turned out the way we wanted. Many classes came and went but the garden is always there waiting for the next group of kindergarteners or fourth graders to come and weed or plant new flowers, adding to the beauty each day. The garden is a unique way to let everyone experience the joy of actually being near all the flowers you learned about rather then learning about them in a book. The Novato Charter School garden is a treasure to our school and I hope it can stay as long as our school does.”
GARDENING by Birgitta Danielson, 6th Grade
“I have been here since I was a kid, and it has always been such a magical place. I mean, when you’re a little kid, and the garden seems so magical, you can believe there are fairies there. I love that the most. As I grew older, I learned that, while there were no fairies, there were many more magical things, such as bugs and the magical way plants grow. I’m glad that our school has a garden.”
GARDENING by Ruby Derovan, 7th Grade
“To me, the NCS school garden is a symbol of our school’s well-nurtured, thriving community. Over the years, every individual from every class has spent happy hours eating from it, socializing in it, and tending it; in fact, many of my fondest memories are of my friends and me playing in the garden.
I love how our garden is not only a beautiful, peaceful place, but it is the only spot at the entire school where everyone from kindergarten all the way to eighth grade is able to work side by side. Our garden, with its floppy scarecrows and singing birds seems to be the home of laughter, and the heart of our school.
The most important lesson I’ve ever learned in the gardening program is that, although gardening requires patience and hard work, in the end there are always things to eat and enjoy.”
GARDEN by Jack Williams, 7th Grade
“After years of walking past it, running through it, and working on it, I finally understand what the garden means to me. Like a mirror, the garden reflects my life. I started as a small sprout shadowed by the larger plants, until I built myself up and became a large plant myself, ready to face the world.
The place in the garden that I love most is the compost. Although it absolutely stinks, I love seeing nature turn useless banana peels or uneaten apples into healthy and rich soil.
The gardening program is amazing in that it educates the students and helps them respect nature. The gardening program gives us the tools we need to start our own garden and teaches us about the amazing things that nature offers the inhabitants of earth.”
GARDEN by Will Morris, 7th Grade
“To me, our school garden is a place where I can be myself and at the same time give back to our planet. It’s also a place that allows me to see eye-to-eye with nature really showing me how important it is for our survival. I think everybody should be able to “get our hands dirty” and go work in a garden or at a farm so we can become more educated about where and how our food gets to our tables.
To me, gardens are a portal into the way things should be. It is a place where nature is abundant and rich. That is why I love gardens and nature in general. A garden is a sanctuary for nature. I find that whenever I’m really stressed or upset if I go sit by myself in a garden and listen to the wind blowing through the leaves and the birds chirping it calms me down and comforts me.
Gardens are also places to reach out and learn. I have benefited so much from our school garden because of all the things I have learned in it. Every time I enter a garden I learn something new. Every time I learn something new in a garden I want to learn more. Gardens inspire and teach me each time I enter one.
Gardens are a great place to be yourself and have fun, while at the same time giving a little back to the planet that has given us so much.”
From the time they enter Kindergarten, NCS students develop a sense of respect and awe in the natural world. Through cultivation, observation, and playful exploration in our Organic Gardening program, the younger students become stewards with a strong awareness of nutrition and seasonal cycles. As they move through the grades, Gardening is taught in conjunction with Mathematics, Environmental Sciences, Art and Social Studies. By the time students reach Middle School, their foundation in the Garden allows them to move into more complex projects such as rain catchment, landscape design, soil science, ecosystem restoration and the business math of plant sales and farmer’s markets. More…