Title

VineToTable@Westside!

First Presenter's Institution

Westside Elementary

Second Presenter's Institution

Cynthia Hammond

Third Presenter's Institution

Christie Bergh

Fourth Presenter's Institution

NA

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Location

Harborside East & West

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Strand #2

Family & Community

Relevance

Westside Elementary’ s STEM project, "Vine to Table," provides hands on educational experiences for students to increase student achievement and make healthy choices through Westside Gardens. Students grow, maintain, harvest and distribute fresh fruits and vegetables to peers, their parents and the community. This STEM project embraces stands I-“HEAD” Academic Achievement and Leadership as well as strand V-“HOME” Family and Community.

Brief Program Description

In an effort to stop child hunger and increase student achievement, Westside Elementary’ s STEM Project, "Vine to Table", consists of aeroponic towers and raised bed gardens to teach responsibility, pride and community to students at risk. These hands on learning experiences enhance students’ skills and increase achievement. Students grow, maintain, harvest and distribute fresh fruits and vegetables to the community.

Summary

In an effort to stop child hunger and promote student achievement, Westside Elementary saw the need to get students and parents engaged in growing fruits and vegetables while also making healthy food choices. Westside Gardens consists of 16 aeroponic towers, raised beds and compost piles to teach responsibility, pride and community to students at risk. Grade levels have defined roles in this STEM project. While the fourth and fifth grade students maintain the aeroponic towers, all grade levels participate in planting and harvesting the produce. Third grade students use waste from the towers to set up compost piles that support the growth of plants in raised beds. Kindergarten, prek and first grades students plant and manage the raised beds with the help the Garden Club. Students are given hands on experiences with planting, maintaining, harvesting and distributing fresh fruits and vegetables to peers, their parents and the community. They are able to research products to plant, troubleshoot challenges, monitor growth and maintain the towers. They read texts about planting and harvesting. They keep STEM journals on the status of the projects, the plants and their research findings. They measure, compare and estimate growth and output. Teachers integrate learning across the curriculum through Westside Gardens. Time is allotted during the week for teachers and students to research, investigate and troubleshoot their projects. Family STEM nights provide opportunities for students and parents to engage in learning together. Last year after conducting research, the gifted and talented classes presented a proposal on how a greenhouse would provide year round planting. Local business leaders viewed the presentations and have chosen to assist with building a greenhouse and an outdoor classroom that will enrich the gardens and learning. This year, these students plan to learn how to operate the greenhouse as well as research local food banks to set up a partnership to distributed products. Fifth grade students plan to build a fish pond that would support and enhance the Westside Gardens while second grade students plan to add a butterfly garden. Our ESOL students look forward to using the tomatoes, cilantro, peppers and onions to make salsa to package and sell. Monies raised will support future projects. "Vine to Table" proves to grow young minds, stimulate new adventures, promote healthy habits, engage students and build partnerships with parents and the community. Greatness does grow in Westside Gardens!

Evidence

Through our book study, Eric Jenson's, Teaching with Poverty in Mind, we learned that students living in poverty, lack nutritious food and struggle in school. Westside Elementary is a Title I school with a 97.4% free and reduced population. Most of our students live in high risk settings where parents do not work, have little education and/or live in low rent housing. In Misty Lacour and Laura D Tissington's article, The effects of poverty on academic achievement, they discussed how students in poverty from their study scored significantly lower on norms in all years and grades. The students at Westside Elementary score at or below the system and state averages on standardized assessments. However, our student achievement has shown growth over schools with similar populations. These researchers shared how student achievement increases if students are engaged in learning, are healthy, have real life experiences and where parents get involved. Westside Gardens provides this for students. They participate in the growth process and take pride in their accomplishments. They are able to eat and share the products with their families and the community. Westside Gardens is educating students, providing new experiences and promoting healthy eating.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Cindy West is a graduate of Georgia Southern University and the Assistant Principal of Instruction at Westside Elementary. Mrs. West has served at the API for 12 years. She has 19 years of classroom experience in kindergarten and first grade.

Christie Bergh is a graduate of Georgia Southwestern College and teaches 4th grade Science and Social Studies at Westside Elementary. Mrs. Bergh is a coach for the Science Olympiad Team. She has 10 years of classroom teaching experience.

Dr. Cynthia Hammond is a graduate of Fort Valley State University and the principal of Westside Elementary. She served as the assistant principal for two years and has been the principal for 8 years. Dr. Hammond has12 years of teaching middle school science, social studies and math prior to coming to Westside Elementary.

Keyword Descriptors

Student Achievment, STEM, Student Engagement, Aeroponic Towers, Gardens, Healthy Choices, Community & Family Involvement, Intgrating Curriculum, Poverty, Closing the Achievment Gap

Presentation Year

2017

Start Date

3-7-2017 4:00 PM

End Date

3-7-2017 5:30 PM

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Mar 7th, 4:00 PM Mar 7th, 5:30 PM

VineToTable@Westside!

Harborside East & West

In an effort to stop child hunger and increase student achievement, Westside Elementary’ s STEM Project, "Vine to Table", consists of aeroponic towers and raised bed gardens to teach responsibility, pride and community to students at risk. These hands on learning experiences enhance students’ skills and increase achievement. Students grow, maintain, harvest and distribute fresh fruits and vegetables to the community.