Day 2 of the IB summer institute brought us to David Thompson Secondary School to explore service learning at the Fresh Roots urban farm. Given the task of weeding the entire garden, our group of teacher candidates embraced the challenge on this rainy, late-summer day and eagerly sunk into the alleys of the garden to begin pulling the weeds that were sneaking into the carefully-planned beds of produce. The produce, harvested year round, is used by local school cafeterias to connect the students with the food they have helped to grow, as well as sold to the surrounding community through weekly ‘salad box’ sales and markets. We learned about the benefits of outdoor learning environments on all types of students, and the two-way relationship between learning and service for many different members of the school community. We were also introduced to the potential of urban farms to promote interdisciplinary learning as the space creates a logical bridge between the sciences, humanities, arts, and languages.
TCs Jolene, Ashley, and I made a short video that connects our experience to the reading we completed before the visit and reflects on our afternoon spent learning in the garden: http://youtu.be/sh7tIA6ucNk