School Gardens

This last spring, Sofia was able to participate in garden club at her school. The Lincoln Garden is run through my work (The Healthy Youth Program), and Amoreena did such an amazing job with the kids. Amoreena was set to give a presentation at the school board meeting in June, and she asked Sofia if she would share her feelings about school gardens in front of the school board. At first Sofia said she didn’t know if she wanted to do it, so I didn’t push it. A couple of days later, Sofia walked into my room and handed me a piece of paper with the following written:

“Hi, my name is Sofia Becerra, and I am going to be in the 3rd grade at Lincoln Elementary.

I think gardens are important because they give fresh air and help kids and adults get outside.

And I think learning to plant and take care of plants is fun and can help you when you are older. I also think that it is exciting to see the things you planted and to eat them.

Gardens help save the earth because they don’t pollute it by being sent in trucks to stores. I think it is important that kids know where food comes from.

I am lucky that I have a big garden in my backyard. I think that school and community gardens are important for people that live in apartment buildings and small places so they can learn how to take care of plants. I’m glad that on some Fridays  in the second grade, we got to visit the garden for science with my class, and I also participated in garden club after school. My favorite thing in garden club was when we had a weed challenge. We were supposed to pick 20 weeds out, and  I picked 102.

Thank you for listening and goodbye!”

Sofia decided that she did want to share her feelings after all, and she did such a great job. When she walked up to testify, the board members were all surprised to see that she was a little girl after announcing a teacher from Lincoln Elementary :). After Sofia finished and said goodbye, she literally said goodbye and ran out of the room. The superintendent noted that she had never seen someone so anxious to get out of their after testifying!!

We are so proud of Sofia and the thoughtful little gal that she is. Sofia at this point does not seem to like the idea of a large group of people’s attention on her, so this was very brave.

Last week in the mail, Sofia received the following note in a card from Dr. Prince (the current superintendent):

Dear Sofia-

I did not have a chance to thank you personally Monday night, as you “escaped” quickly out of the board room :)! Your testimony to the school board was perfect! You were so well spoken and articulate. I could tell how much school gardens mean to you. I really appreciate you taking the time to come talk to the board. Although it seems scary, we are here to serve kids like you to make sure school is the best experience as possible. You help us be better! Thank you Sofia! Happy Summer,

Dr. Prince, Superintendent

We love you Sofia and are proud of you. We hope you always stick up for things that you think are important or right!