Last weekend, I worked my first “Saturday School.” Although it drizzled on an off, Pueblo Vista students were not deterred. We put on our rain ponchos and accomplished a lot. So different from the typical school day, I found myself repeatedly thinking “There’s just nothing like it!”
There’s just nothing like… gardening in the rain. It smells different. It feels different. It is different. You have to grip your tools differently. You have to tread more lightly on the soil so you don’t compact it. It’s a great time to sow new seeds because the moisture will help germination.
There’s just nothing like… mixed grade levels working together for an uninterrupted period of time. A group of third, fourth, and fifth graders in groups of 15 or so for forty-five minutes felt luxurious when compared to the fast pace needed when rotating three classes of 30. Groups of two or three accomplished tasks without hurry–first harvesting and clearing a bed, then digging in compost, then sowing new seeds and finally covering with straw mulch–all while having informal conversations about gardening.
There’s just nothing like… finding stray carrots mixed in with the flowers. More impressive was the teamwork of two students who rinsed and scrubbed the dirt away, sending a bucketful of carrots to the classroom to share. When I visited the classroom to return left jackets and such, I found the bucket empty and a carrot in every hand. I couldn’t help but turn my head at the loud CRUNCH that came from a student eating that freshly dug carrot next to me.
There’s just nothing like… a school setting that integrates the garden into all aspects of the campus. It’s curriculum, it’s community, it’s enrichment, it’s all of this and much, much more. There’s just nothing like it!
Saturday Academy provides enrichment opportunities for all students while allowing our students to make-up missed days of attendance. Missed days of school also result in lost revenue to our school. Saturday Academy allows us to recover lost learning as well as lost funding!