Temescal Academy Garden
Temescal Academy (T.A.) is an alternative high school connected with Palisades Charter High School. It has about 75 at-risk students, the majority of whom are Latinos and African-Americans, and also males. They commute from distant locations in the Los Angeles Unified School District, and were enrolled (in a lottery system) because parents wanted them to receive a far better education than they would get in their own communities. However, Pacific Palisades is an upscale community and most of the students who attend "PaliHigh" have moderate to high income families and were far better prepared academically for high school than the T.A. students. Counselors referred them to T.A. when it became clear that they were clearly failing to maintain acceptable academic performance and were often unhappy socially. In this small and protected environment they receive a lot of individualized attention from both the administrative staff and the dedicated teachers. The boys particularly like being outdoors and ask to do helpful physical work on the small campus; for some while a number of students have wanted to have a garden in which they can grow both edible plants and flowers. However, the school itself lacks both personnel and funds to initiate and then support a school garden program, which usually depends a great deal on parental involvement in terms of helping to create and maintain a garden, working directly with the students in it, helping teachers integrate various garden activities with classroom studies and projects (as in science, math, social studies, art), and raising funds. T.A. parents not only live at considerable distance, but they are working people with low incomes and often are single parents. Palisades Beautiful, established in 1974, in August 2013 initiated this effort on behalf of T.A.
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