A Learning Garden at Central Avenue School
The mission of the CAS Learning Garden is: "To build, plant and maintain a beautiful working school garden that we can use as an outdoor classroom, and that inspires teachers and students by connecting us with our environment, food and health."
CAS parent Marlena Fass says, “Our Learning Garden has met its mission and so much more. Over the past year, CAS families have come together to create a garden that has been used to support science, math, art, and other subject lessons which have been integrated into the classroom learning. "We have developed over a half dozen lessons that we have shared with our 500 students, in more than 70 classroom visits so far this school year." A key aspect of the garden is that everyone in the CAS community feels welcome -- teachers, students, parents and visitors. Children plant, harvest and enjoy vegetables that are grown throughout the year. “Everything we plan to do, we ask ourselves, ‘Can the kids do this?’ Sometimes it takes longer and it’s messier, but who cares because the kids are learning!” says CAS parent Megan Pagliaro. The CAS Learning Garden also teaches valuable lessons on nutrition and helps children understand what their bodies need to be healthy and strong. Fass comments that feedback from parents has been overwhelmingly positive with kids asking for more veggies in their lunches. Remains from cafeteria lunches are made into compost and then used in the garden. With the full support of CAS Principal Tom Liss, the possibilities for expansion are endless.