In the last of a series, Ms. Barbara Vargo tells us about the delicious wrap-up to a great season of learning!
The Sturdy Roots Meetings for the 2015-2016 school year concluded with an interactive cooking workshop co-hosted by Community Kitchen. Believing in the age old proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child,” this school year Tiffany Ward and I have expanded our practice beyond the walls of our classrooms this year in order to strengthen our relationships with families and the Northside Community.
Kindergarten is a giant milestone in a child’s education as it sets the tone for each young scholar’s academic future. Recognizing the need to support our students both in and outside of the school, Mrs. Ward and I have been working diligently to build another bridge in our city. We have been working to bridge the home to school connection.
One heaping cup of collaboration, four tablespoons of professional development, and a dash of fun– the final Sturdy Roots Meeting was served smokin’ hot on the evening of Monday, June 6, 2016. Under the guidance of Community Kitchen Chef, Emily Voelker, Propel Northside students in grades K-2 made a uniquely healthy and delicious dish of apple and cheese tacos. The event required students to measure, follow directions, and try something new. They also were education on healthy habits by playing and participating in the sugar game! A fun game enabling students to estimate how many grams of sugar are in each of their favorite foods. The sugar game was an enlightening experience encouraging conscious consumption of foods that are often mis-conceptualized as healthy.
At the end of the meeting, every student in attendance received a Peg + Cat take home math kit to prevent against summer slide and to encourage the practice of early math skills such as measurement, addition, subtraction, and fractions over the summer months. The materials were provided through a partnership with WQED’s math iQ. Additionally, educational prizes including Lego Read and Build kits were raffled off to six lucky winners.
Receiving an Innovation Grant for the Sturdy Roots Project enabled Mrs. Ward and I to host interactive events enabling us to connect with families in an authentic way. The Sturdy Roots Project mutually benefitted parents, teachers, and students. Through being a charter school, students come to Propel Northside from many different neighborhoods. Using our building as an academic institution as well as a space for community gathering has greatly assisted in bridging the barrier between school and home. Given the ongoing transformation of the traditional education system informing parents of new teaching and learning methods resulting from the Common Core Standards is essential in ensuring each student is given adequate at home support.
The Sturdy Roots initiative provided a platform to cultivate community, enrich student learning, and connect families and teachers. Thankful for the opportunity, we look forward to continuing the project next year and have already begun cooking up some great ideas to advance student learning and community involvement!