Maple Street School Garden
With 77% of students eligible for free/reduced meals at Maple Street School, and with other outside factors starting to have an impact on students at school, Maple Street Elementary faculty and staff decided to start a Community School initiative in coordination with the after school meal program. Volunteers, both from the greater community, and the school itself provide after-school enrichment programs for students between the time they get out of school, and the time that the after-school meal is served. Tolland County 4-H, in partnership with the University of Connecticut provided resources and volunteers to start a 4-H club after-school at Maple Street. The club focused on STEM education and decided to build a school garden as an educational project for the students, and the volunteers, as well. The garden officially broke ground in the late spring of 2013. It provided a great outdoor educational space for mini-summer camps, with a plethora of cherry tomatoes, green beans, and even some watermelon and summer squash. The food grown was either given directly to the students and families or sometimes to The Cornerstone Foundation, a local soup kitchen in Rockville.
Currently, after school and summer enrichment programs utilize the garden to educate children about plant science and healthy eating in an interactive way. We hope to expand the scope of the garden, by integrating it into the classroom lessons, and making it more accessible for larger groups of people. To achieve this goal, funds are needed to purchase more kid-friendly garden tools, some sort of watering system, and much to enrich the soil. The Maple Street School garden has brought a lot to the Rockville community already, and we hope that as the garden continues to grow, the community will grow with it.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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