Back-to-School: Anxiety, Relief, and the Rewards of the Slow Food in Schools Project

I know, I am always saying, how did X (fill-in-the-blank here) go by so fast. Well, how did it? Seriously, one minute it was the end of school, and July, and pools and camp and beach and birthdays, the next it was the Vineyard, and suddenly Labor Day and back to school. Yikes! Someone put on the brakes, please. 

Back to school!

 Magnolia started pre-kindergarten yesterday, and Jasper started first grade. If you’ve spoken to me recently, you know I’ve been freaking out a little over it all (see post here about holding kids back in school), stressing over school supplies, and on the hunt for winter coats (hey, if you wait much longer, all the good colors are gone). 

Like Christmas in Whoville, the start of school came despite it all. And though bittersweet (how did those babies get so big?), it wasn’t so bad. 

The kids woke up excited, and couldn’t wait to get there. Jasper was especially happy to play the role of big brother, and walk his sister into her classroom. Magnolia was thrilled to be going to “Jasper’s school.” We were excited, at the end of summer, to make the walk up the street and get the kids into academics (and out of the house) again. 

What I didn’t expect was how happy I’d be to see all the familiar faces of the other neighborhood parents and kids, and the teachers and administrators who we’ve come to know over the last two years.  The school did not reveal who Jasper‘s new teacher would be until the day we met in the courtyard, so it was a little like a surprise party for 400 yesterday morn, with hugs and laughter as we found out whose kids would be in what class together. We got to meet Jasper‘s new teacher, and say hello to Magnolia‘s pre-k teachers, who taught her brother two years ago. And, we were able to see the beautiful school garden, diligently tended all summer, and now full of vegetables that will end up on the kid’s school lunch plate. 

The schoolyard garden project is new this year to P.S. 295, the local elementary school we’re zoned for. It was spear-headed by our wonderful, community-minded librarian, who worked with the Slow Food movement and volunteer parents to create it. Large wooden planters were built to house the different parts of the garden; students planted seeds and seedlings right before the end of the summer. Mother nature did her part during July and August and, voila!, a thriving garden when we returned this week! 

Slow Food in Schools Projects can take many forms — in addition to creating edible gardens, other initiatives include: 

  • A mobile healthy food cooking cart.
  • After-school farmer’s markets.
  • Farmer visits to the classroom.
  • Parent and child cooking classes.

For step-by-step information on how to start a Slow Food in Schools Project in your community, plus info on the various projects and funding guidelines, download a PDF here

And for inspiration, see what other schools around the country have done

Slow Food in Schools Project

How does your garden grow? Very well, thank you!

Hello, fall 2010! We’re ready for you.


1 Response to “Back-to-School: Anxiety, Relief, and the Rewards of the Slow Food in Schools Project”

  1. 1 Tips for Helping Your Child Learn to Read « Shiny Brite Trackback on September 21, 2010 at 1:36 pm

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