Feb 9, 2016
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The two thriving gardens at Washington Elementary School in Point Richmond bear fruit both literally and educationally, but few have captured their overall value quite like the expert who runs them, Garden Education Specialist Kelli Barram.

As part of an online campaign to seek donations to continue and bolster the West Contra Costa Unified school’s garden program, Barram described why an investment in an edible school garden can provide young minds a nutritious education, and seeds for a brighter future.

“For many of our students, the school garden is where they discover for the first time that apples grow on trees and strawberries come from the ground,” Barram wrote. “They also learn how critical pollinators are to the world’s food production, that soil is alive with tiny organisms that make all things grow, and that our water is a precious and limited resource. Through our garden program students learn that they are interdependently connected to the bee, and to the worm. They are introduced to the magic of nature and its cycles of life, and they get to participate in its processes. As a result, these experiences transform their perceptions of the environment in which they live and the role they play in it. When students discover how intricately connected all of the Earth’s elements are, their worldviews are broadened and they develop a sense of ownership of and responsibility for nature.”

And that’s not all. Barram continues:

“Through our garden program, students are inspired to recycle, compost their lunch scraps, pick up trash around the yard, and not squish the spider they find in the corner of their room. They also learn that all these things—the soil, air, water and sun—are what make our food healthy and that eating food as direct from the garden as possible is what makes our bodies healthy and strong.”

We encourage our readers to consider contributing to the program for the purposes of providing the needed supplies, equipment and curriculum.

“Every donation helps, no matter how small,” Barram said.

Those wishing to make a donation can visit the donation page: http://www.letsgrowrichmond.org/donate/


Make a check out to: Let’s Grow Richmond/ WA school garden  (Let’s Grow Richmond is the financial sponsor); Please mail your check to:  Washington Elementary, c/o WA Garden Program; 565 Wine Street; Richmond, CA 94801.

The photo was provided by the Washington Elementary PTA Facebook page.


About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.