Friday, March 8, 2013

Orchard Curriculum launched at four Southern California schools


We figured that if McDonalds could contribute to public school curriculum, can
Common Vision. We are very proud to announce that we just launched the first unit in our Orchard Curriculum at four Southern California elementary schools: Carthay, Palms, Round Meadow and Vista del Valle.

Thanks to your support, Common Vision’s week-long unit on decomposers features the
California Education and Environment Initiative (EEI) Curriculum as a base and includes hands-on compost and mulching exercises in the orchard. Now, in addition to leaving a wake of fruit forests in food deserts, we are also leaving behind lesson plans straight out of the book of life itself.

For example, orchard learning activities include composting and mulching, when students are introduced to the deep ecological reasons for maintaining soil health. Our juicy curriculum transforms school orchards into living classrooms right in the heart of the city. Now, that is some serious schweetness!!!

California is currently poised to lead the nation in environmental literacy with the Education and Environment Initiative (EEI), a national model designed to help prepare today’s students to become future scientists, economists, and green technology leaders. The K-12th grade curriculum is comprised of 85 units teaching select Science and History-Social Science academic standards. Each EEI Curriculum unit teaches these standards to mastery using a unique set of California Environmental Principles and Concepts. The curriculum was created to bring education about the environment into the primary and secondary classrooms of more than 1,000 school districts serving over 6 million students throughout California.

Thank you so very much for an incredible orchard day at Carthay! We were so very impressed with your team - they worked so hard and so efficiently and with such kindness. It was absolutely amazing - as soon as tree (or vine : ) trimmings dropped to the Earth another team member was there to haul it away - all six dumpsters full!

And I can't believe how quickly the mountain of mulch was moved, and the grapes pruned and everything else expertly pruned and fed - it was a beautiful day and we thank you for it. It is such a HUGE help to have Common Vision come to Carthay each year - our fruit trees anchor our garden. With the care you provide these trees will preserve it for many years and many generations of students to come. Thank you for the amazing work you do.

- Teresa Dahl, Sustainability Schoolyard Ombudsman, Los Angeles Unified School District and Cathay Elementary Garden Coordinator

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