Love Grows Community Garden
We believe that by providing children with an opportunity to connect with nature and a place to garden, we are fostering a love and respect connection to our planet. As children continuously explore with planting their favorite seeds, that will yield crops in their season, they take on the role of caretakers and with excitement and anticipation, they wait for harvest time. The “El Amor Crece Jardin Comunitario” or “Love Grows Community Garden” has been a labor of love from its very beginning. A dream that came to life with the support of a school community.
The EACJC/LGCG is one of our foundation projects that children work on during the course of the year. Through exploration, observation and documentation the children submerge into hands on learning. In the garden, children developed skills like decision making, when to plant what seed, how much water a plant needs, when can I pluck its fruits and what delicious meals will we make with them are critical decisions our gardeners need to make. Working in collaboration with friends, children support their ideas and each of them brings their prior knowledge and experiences to the garden. Each of their ideas are valued, heard and explored in the EACJC/LGCG.
During the many trips to the garden, the children found a caterpillar and wanted to learn more about it. We began with an inquiry of the children’s previous knowledge of butterflies. They knew that the caterpillar would become a butterfly. The children in the Estrellitas classroom had the opportunity to create a habitat for the little caterpillar and make a home for it in the classroom. Through daily care and observation, the children kept a daily log of its growth with a calendar. This allowed the children to count the days of each of the stages of the butterfly’s transformation. They were introduced to words like metamorphosis, observation, hypothesis and the stages of the transformation. The anticipation grew as they children began to think of possible names for the butterfly. After many days and many names they all agreed to the name “Unicorn”! On September 11th Unicorn was born. The children were very excited and began to dialogue about what should happen to Unicorn. They decided that Unicorn should fly free and be outdoors. And joyfully the children agree to release Unicorn outdoors to fly free.