November 6, 2019, San Jose, Ca: The Moreland School District is proud to announce that Latimer School has been awarded a $1,200 garden grant from the California Fertilizer Foundation (CFF). Selected from a large number of high-quality applicants, this grant will help to implement a garden and gardening program that will be used by all Kindergarten-8th grade students at Latimer School.
With the adoption of the new science curriculum, Next Generation Science Standards and StemScopes, there are instructional lessons with hands-on context to support students in learning about healthy living through gardening. From Kindergarteners learning to measure and compost to eighth-graders learning about Mendel’s peas (genetics) to hydropods, this new school-wide garden will be the perfect outside classroom to transition and connect student’s learning.
The Latimer Garden and Outside Classroom will be created with raised beds and an irrigation system to minimize maintenance. These grant funds, along with funds from Latimer's Home and School Club, will be used to purchase a garden organics raised bed and a specially formulated mix and balance of materials. Latimer also has a core group of volunteers, including a parent who is a Master Gardener, that will recruit, train, and schedule “Green Team” members to work in the garden, including a student-led Garden Club.
“We’re excited to create the Latimer Garden & Outdoor Classroom to enhance the hands-on experiential nature of our Project-Based Learning (PBL) instruction,” said Nancy Cisler, Principal of Latimer School. “Observing the life cycles of plants and pollinators; calculating the perimeter and area of raised beds, and investigating soil chemistry and nutrients are just a few ways our “living classroom” will help our teachers convey the important science, math, history, health and language arts lessons.”
The Latimer Home & School Club has allowed for annual financial support to sustain this garden each year, and Latimer staff and volunteers have committed to writing their own school-based grants to support different needs during the initial implementation and growth.