BY Laura Ruby

Over at Vance, TRF team ran a Professional Development day in October focused on Project Based Learning… and the entire Vance teaching staff participated!

Since then, teachers are fired up to continue working on integrating core curriculum into the outdoor environment. The first-grade team took on the challenge of teaching economics through growing mint in partnership with the Chocolate Lounge. Here students and teachers are truly connecting their core curriculum to the surrounding environment and to the Asheville community, in a very real-life way. They will learn about goods and services, start their own mint garden, and learn about the chocolate making process straight from the source. With the mint garden in place, first graders will harvest mint each year to raise funds to support the programs and services they love.

Creative Learning with Students

4th-grade Spanish class learned about Hispanic food traditions and how they are connected to our global diet. They harvested golden amaranth from the garden, threshed it, winnowed it, popped this ancient grain and made delicious alegrias, also known as joy bars. They shared their experiences during the school-wide Hispanic Heritage Month celebration.

The first annual Ecology week and the Expo was a great success! The Garden and outdoor spaces around the school had a range of environmental-based projects, and the Garden was full of delicious soup, cider pressing, art projects, a veggie puppet show, and cardboard derby racing down the hill. Thank you to all the teachers, Garden Committee members, and parent volunteers for your incredible support and energy!

On the Horizon

  • The new tool shed is almost complete! Soon there will be a place to store our garden tools and the cob building will be repurposed as a gathering space.

  • AB Tech will tour the gardens and learn about our programs.

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