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Our "Help Our Garden" project consists of beautifying our school garden by painting our wooden garden crates and making a welcoming banner to place at the entrance of the garden with the hope of attracting more visitors so they can take advantage of the fruits and vegetables that we grow there. We also help to sustain our garden by buying more seeds and gardening supplies.
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Our project will fund the purchase of various vegetable and fruit plants and trees. We will also be able to purchase soil and other materials to fund our School Garden.
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Our project will give students an outlet to create a safe space with their hands and minds. We wish for student and staff families to enjoy the space by visiting and eating the food we will grow.
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Students will begin planting indoors as part of the after school program. They will research what plants they want to grow and how much space they will need. They will also be learning about composting and what to collect. The Recycle Team will be collecting items to make bird feeders and other recycle sculptures that can be displayed in the courtyard. In the Spring the gardening program will begin and students will learn about their garden from "food to table". They will maintain the garden and keep journals to measure all aspects of garden .
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We have spent the last month researching greenhouses and native gardens. We identified plants we'd like to use, and created 3D model of our planned greenhouse. We created a pamphlet that incorporated all of the information we gathered. Then, we scheduled a meeting with our principal for January 3rd. We will discuss with him the feasibility of our ideas and gain his input on how we may best carry out our project.
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As a class we will be making measurements of the land area and brainstorming ways to beatify the area. We know we want to add plants, but we also know that we need to control for runoff and possibly rebuild the walls holding up the levels of the land which are there to prevent ground erosion. We hope to work with the the parks department to have a trash can put in nearby or in the park to cut down on pollution left by people walking through the neighborhood.
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The students will map out the school's organic garden footprint and the resources needed. The students will research and identify native flora, fauna and grass species, as well as the climate in deciding which plants to grow throughout the year and it will be organically maintained and naturally sustainable. Our drought will create awareness and the need to provide solutions for water conservation. This project will empower students to share and present the dangers of using toxic pesticides, especially for purely cosmetic reasons to the local HOAs in their community. They will also present the benefits of organic gardening and non-toxic solutions to the board in hopes that they will switch to organic landscaping. This organic school garden will help their problem solving skills, presenting skills and hopefully their gardening skills.
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To kick off Spartan Service, we have developed a week of activities in which all 1100 of our high school students will have an opportunity to participate in. - Monday - With Meals of Hope, we will package 50,000 meals that will be donated to our local food bank. All students will have an opportunity to package meals that morning. Each meal is balanced, nutritious, and shelf-stable for up to 2 years. - Tuesday - We will send students to serve at our four feeder elementary schools. This will enable our high school students to give back to their former school and set an example to current elementary students for what to expect with service when they get to high school. Activities will vary at each school, but will include reading to students, cleaning up a nature trail, organizing teaching materials, painting murals on walls, and much more. - Wednesday, we will have over 700 students working to clean up our high school and middle school campuses. Students will be working in small teams on a variety of tasks: pressure washing, painting our fence, cleaning, laying pine straw, planting flowers, etc. - Thursday, all English classes will have students write at least two letters to military men and women to say Thank You for your service to our country. Letters will be delivered to service people over Thanksgiving when they are not able to be at home with their families. - Friday will conclude with a pep rally highlighting our students hard work and a keynote speaker from Chick-fil-A talking about the value of service. After our Spartan Service week, we will help students to begin tracking and reflecting on their service hours. Moving forward, we will have a calendar online that increases awareness of on-going service opportunities in our community with an easy way to sign up to participate.
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Currently, we have a Sensory Garden outside of our classroom. This garden was built in 2014 by our special needs students. Since then, it has become over grown and not maintained. With this grant, we will be able to buy the supplies to revamp our sensory garden. The garden will need plants that you can see, touch, taste, and smell. We will also need new wind chimes for the hearing station.
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We hope our project will spark the conversation on healthy eating. Fresh organic food is very hard to come by in most Los Angeles communities. This garden space will act as an inspiration peace as well as a full learning experience for all participants. We will engage with family and community members in planting all trees during the Halloween season.

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