It's a Wrap 

June 2022

It's a Wrap:
  • From the Executive Director
  • Living Classroom 2021-2022 Highlights
  • Gratitude and Recognition
  • Teacher Feedback
  • Living Classroom Docent Recruitment
  • We're Hiring
  • Summer Reading List

From the Executive Director

Endings are bittersweet: the end of year, the end of school, the end of a season. The end of an academic year has all those feelings. However, endings also allow us to reflect on the successes of the past year, possibly plan for improvements or changes, and pause to savor our hard work.

I am so very proud of the many Living Classroom accomplishments this year.  I am especially grateful to the amazing staff and volunteer support that Living Classroom has received.  Even with rigorous new health and safety requirements and not being able to provide a full slate of lesson activities or engage volunteers for most of the year, our staff and volunteers forged forward and delivered.


Living Classroom 2021-2022 Highlights

  • We delivered 877 lessons in all programs,

  • Our new program for Deaf and Hearing Impaired students (located at Oster School through the Santa Clara County Office of Education) was a huge success – with more than 14 lessons delivered to separate cohorts of students.

  • As we were not able to deliver our food preparation and food consumption activities this year, we donated our harvest of 293.3 pounds of fresh produce to local food banks.

  •  We hired 3 new staff members and welcomed 3 new Board members.

More Reasons Why Living Classroom Matters

The end of the year provides me the opportunity to recognize and thank so many people who make it possible for Living Classroom to provide environmental education to thousands of students each year.


Let me start this roll call of recognition and gratitude with thanking and recognizing our hardworking Board of Directors, led by Vicki Moore (also Living Classroom’s Founder), “veteran” Don Arnold, and new members this year Pamela Devenney, Deepika Gajaria , and Mallory Matthews.


Huge bouquets of thanks to Living Classroom’s amazing Instructional Team led by Alexis Li and classroom support from Susan Harder, Kim Reynolds, Anne Furlong, and our two newest staff members Mallory Shiroyama and Maha Lakshimarayanan; our resourceful and multitalented Garden Support team: Patti Berryhill, Michelle Bonfilio, and Jody McCalmont; and our talented and nimble Administrative Support staff: Natalie Elefant, Stefani Brandt, and Kavita Dave Coombe


None of this would have been possible without the support of you -- our supporters and donors.  Many thanks to El Camino Health Care District, the Santa Clara Open Space Authority, Valley Water, Supervisor Otto Lee (URJGENT grant), the Leslie Family Foundation, the Good Soil Family Foundation, Walgreens, Target, and Google. Our partners in education: the Mountain View School District, Campbell Union School District, Braly School, the Santa Clara County Office of Education, and the Santa Clara Parks and Recreation Department for their support and encouragement. You continued to have confidence in our work and provided the means for us to continue to do it. THANK YOU for an amazing year!

Teacher Feedback

We love feedback from our teachers! Recently a former teacher in Mountain View Whisman schools sent this terrific testimonial to a local Superintendent in support of our program (click here) to read this teacher’s wonderful feedback.

Living Classroom Docent Recruitment

Living Classroom is able to offer more than 800 lessons a year because we engage trained docents in many of our lessons. Some years, from 30 to 60% of lessons are provided by trained, engaged, and enthusiastic volunteer docents! 


Living Classroom provides ongoing training three times a year. Each training consists of three consecutive Monday morning sessions. After training (each week or after all the sessions) a docent-trainee is welcome to shadow one of our Instructional team members until they feel comfortable leading a lesson.


If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a docent to support our students in Mountain View Whisman, Campbell, or St. Simon schools, please reach out to me ( or Alexis Li ( Training will resume in early September for the 2022–23 school year.


If you have already been trained as a docent and haven’t been in the classroom for a while, please come back! We are confident that many of the health and safety requirements will be easier to navigate, and we do plan to return to full programming. Please reach out to Alexis to discuss opportunities for next year.

We're Hiring

Living Classroom is also looking for paid staff educators to work with students in the Campbell and Mountain View Whisman School Districts. Enjoying working with students and a love of nature are what matters the most! Living Classroom is happy to provide all the training needed.


If you or someone you know is interested in being a staff member of a wonderful, personally rewarding school-based program (no nights, no weekends!), please see our website for more details and a job description.


Summer Reading List

Here are a few of our favorite books for you to enjoy with your child this summer. All of the books in the suggested reading list below align with our lessons and student learning goals for each grade level. We hope that you enjoy reading them as much as we do! 


  • Jack’s Garden by Henry Cole

  • I’m a Seed by Jean Marzollo

  • We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger
    Leaves by David Ezra Stein

  • How Groundhog’s Garden Grew by Lynne Cherry 

  • Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens

  • Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert

  • Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett

Grade 1

  • Do Turtles Sleep in Treetops? by Laura Purdy

  • Miss Spider’s Tea Party by David Kirk

  • The Best Nest by P.D. Eastman 

  • A Nest is Noisy by Dianna Hutts Aston

  • This is the Nest that Robin Built by Denise Fleming

  • Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert 

  • Up, Down, and Around by Katharine Ayres 

  • The Whole World Inside Nan’s Soup by Hunter Liguore

  • Oscar and the Moth by Geoff Waring

Grade 2

  • Pancakes, Pancakes by Eric Carle 

  • From Grain to Bread by Ali Mitgutsch

  • Whose Garden Is It? by Mary Ann Hoberman

  • A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts 

  • Flip, Float, Fly by JoAnn Early Macken

  • The Reason for a Flower by Ruth Heller

  • Walter the Baker by Eric Carle

Grade 3

  • Fungus Is Among Us! by Joy Keller

  • Carl and the Meaning of Life by Deborah Freedman

  • Compost Stew by Mary McKenna Siddals

  • Tomatoes for Neela by Padma Lakshmi 

  • Salsa by Jorge Arguetta

Grade 4

  • Seeing Symmetry by Loreen Leedy

Living Classroom
PO Box 4121
Los Altos, CA 94024
view this email in your browser
Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.


This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Living Classroom · 183 Hillview Avenue · Los Altos, CA 94022 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp