This summer just zoomed by (pun intended), didn’t it? Students and teachers are back, even though a bit differently than any year before.
Living Classroom is also back, providing students with wonderful learning experiences while they learn to be stewards of our planet. More than 540 Living Classroom lessons are scheduled for this year. To start, our lessons will be delivered live and in person through Zoom technology — featuring our new mascot Rolly the Poly. And we are poised and ready to deliver lessons in person in the gardens when it is safe to do so.
Your support allowed Living Classroom’s garden staff to continue to work in the 31 gardens we currently maintain, harvesting and donating over 300 pounds of summer produce to food banks and planting fall produce. Because students will not enjoy the garden bounty through taste testings and cooking activities right away, what is now growing in our beds will be donated to the school districts’ food service departments for student lunches or to local food banks.
New native gardens are being created in the next 6 weeks at Rosemary and Castlemont schools in the Campbell Union School District, and new edible beds and a native garden are also on their way at Jose Vargas School in the Mountain View Whisman School District. Many thanks to the Farrington Historical Foundation, Leslie Family Foundation, Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority, Mountain View Rotary, and Los Altos Community Foundation for generously providing funds for these wonderful new spaces.
During sheltering in place this spring, Living Classroom pivoted and provided more than 20 Green Time activities on our website. We also used that time to plan and develop a new Virtual Learning Program (VLP). We believe that delivering Living Classroom virtually will provide a cost-effective and flexible learning model that has the potential to serve more students in a wider geographic reach. The new VLP will provide schools of all income levels across California the opportunity to benefit from what we do. We will continue to provide our program in person to school districts that can and/or do support our work. I look forward to sharing information about our progress in the months to come!
While good work is moving forward, Living Classroom still needs your support. We made deliberate cuts to the 2020–2021 operating budget, which impacted staffing. We made the difficult and sad decision to say goodbye to valuable team members, whom we sorely miss.
Please consider making a gift to support Living Classroom. We are working hard to educate children to love nature, to understand where their food comes from, and to make learning fun and applicable to their lives. We are striving for inclusiveness, diversity, equity, and access for all students in our lessons and gardens. But we need your help now more than ever to assure that every child learns to value nature and the Earth we all share and has the opportunity to enjoy nature through our educational and engaging lessons. Please encourage your employer to make a matching donation to Living Classroom.
I keep all of you in my thoughts, and I look forward to seeing you soon. Take care and stay safe.
Margot Harrigan, Executive Director
PS: Never before has understanding our environment through science mattered more — hello lightning storms, thunderstorms, heat waves, wildfires, drought! Join me in making a monthly gift
. Your monthly gift of $50 or more will allow Living Classroom to provide ongoing and new opportunities for local kids to learn, discover, and grow