So, we have come to the end of our 2015-2016 school year and are well into summer! But the work and planning for next year is already under way.
Gratitude goes out to the Augustine Foundation who granted us funds to build up our cooking supplies and appliances for cooking opportunities in the classrooms and outside. We also have the infrastructure in place to compost nearly all the food waste and a good portion of the paper waste coming from our classes and lunch room, thanks to them. In addition, we had funds to take a couple field trips! We are so grateful to them for helping us provide hands-on learning as well as the potential expand the learning into the next year. We hope to report to them on our progress as the years go by. They have been a huge part of our building process.
We also had a grant from the Kokua Hawaii Foundation. We applied for this late in the year and have used the funds to create a better storage situation, to gather materials like composting ingredients, art supplies, and tools for anticipated work coming up in July for a big garden re-dedication in the Fall. The dedication will hopefully start us off in the right direction for the next leg of our journey. I am excited to share that journey with our friends at Sacred Hearts community: students, staff, parents and parish.
We are planning to convert our back garden into a Peace Garden. We are only in the beginning stages of this thinking, but we have shovels in the ground and plans for planting natives and canoe plants in this space. Here is my thinking on how this change in purpose will compliment what we have done so far:
I could go on and on. Where do we start? First, I have enlisted help from a wonderful member of our community: Duane Sparkman. He is a part of the Maui Cultural Lands organization. He has come to see our location, listened to our ideas, and will be helping to prep our area for the new plants! He has narrowed it down to two dates in July. We are discussing the finalized date and sorting out the details. As soon as I know, you will know.
Next, we are looking for volunteers to help bring gardening curriculum into our classrooms. We have a wonderful program created and provided by the Kokua Hawaii Foundation called "Aina in the Schools" We have the full curriculum ready to take into the classrooms. What we need are Docents to help teach it. You do not need garden experience, everything you need to know is outlined and training will be provided. Here is a link to the valuable program overview:
I am also forming a committee to help plan the Peace Garden process. This process outlined at Hawaii School Peace Gardens. Here is a link to the website: www.ihtec.org/ISPGPages/ISPGHawaii.html
To foster a thoughtful process for developing our SHS St. Francis Peace Garden, we will need input from everyone. We are shooting for an August or September dedication ceremony.
If you are interested in any part of the garden... monthly work parties, peace garden committee, Classroom Garden Docents or even donation of materials or supplies you can contact me. Nicole Okada 360-402-0291.