We are pleased to share that the Nourishing Newark Community Grants Program and the Education Department at Greater Newark Conservancy awarded a Newark Grows School Gardens Mini-Grant to Link Community Charter School. Ms. Boyle, Link’s lower house science teacher, had a vision for the school and applied for the grant, which will transform the courtyard at the Pennsylvania Avenue campus into a lovely multifunctional space for outdoor learning and play.
The plan is to section off a part of the courtyard to accommodate classes of up to 25, with bench planters, raised bed gardens, and picnic tables to accompany a raised bed project in the courtyard that the Kindergarten and first grade have begun (in photo to the right). The planters will contain dwarf coniferous and deciduous trees underplanted with herbs and gardens, and the garden beds will have flowers and crops. Students will engage in planting and tending the gardens while learning about the plants and trees. This dovetails nicely with the Kindergarten-Grade 1 science curriculum, which focuses on exploration in nature. The outdoor space will render lessons in nature so much more effective, as now students can be outdoors in a safe place and observe it first-hand! The plan also includes making the space available for the Upper House learning and collaborations between grade levels. Ms. Boyle stated in her grant request,” By providing an interactive outdoor learning space, scholars will be able to engage in nature and grow in confidence as they care for and maintain their living classroom.”