School buses pull up and unload over one hundred 5th grade students who, as reality sets in, are suddenly experiencing a range of emotions from ecstatic to homesick and everything in between.
In the middle two weeks of November, I found myself taking on a role that was entirely new to me—school liaison. Finally feeling comfortable in my role of working with about ten students at a time, I now got to reach out to the whole 5th grade class of a school in Kitsap County.
IslandWood artist in residence Jah Breeze was walking down the path on his way to the art studio, when he ran into a group of children with the School Overnight Program (SOP). “Jah Breeze!” they called out. Some of them knew him from his work in Seattle, others had heard about him from their classmates while at IslandWood.
I think of the School Overnight Program (SOP) like a laboratory where I can test the hypotheses and ideas that I’ve generated in my coursework in real-life scenarios. One “experiment” that all graduate students conduct is the investigation lesson.
Last winter holds the remarkable distinction of being the wettest winter ever recorded in Seattle. The rains were indeed epic. Like all gardeners, we worried about what this would mean for the health of our plants. Some seemed unfazed by the seemingly endless rain. A few even performed better than usual.
Over 130 members of Seattle’s Somali community, more than twice what event organizers expected, came to IslandWood one Sunday in July to learn about the School Overnight Program (SOP).
After much planning, our garden construction project is finally underway! The garden team has been preparing for the impact to our teaching space for many months.
One of the surefire signs of spring in the Pacific Northwest is the re-emergence of the stinging nettle plant, Urtica dioica. Growing in abundance on the IslandWood campus, nettle has been quite popular this past month. Several graduate students, myself included, have used the leaves in cooking projects.
A seed, with all of its beauty and mystery, is so much more than a mere object: it is the physical embodiment of a dream. For every time we plant a seed we are planning for a future harvest. Seeds can carry us into dreams of future meals made with fresh food, and memories of seasons past.
Last month our students and staff learned more about the gifts that our native plants can offer! Dr. Susan Pavel, a celebrated practitioner of Coast Salish weaving, joined us for a two-week arts residency to share her knowledge of plant dyes and traditional weaving techniques with the IslandWood community.
Bog lantern, bog candle, skunk cabbage...Lysichiton americanus goes by many common names. Growing in swampy areas, it is one of the first and most noticeable plants to emerge in the spring.
As a student in the Education for Environment & Community graduate program, I am learning to embrace a mindset of growth. Each and every student has potential.
Pi Day is an annual celebration of one of our most famous irrational numbers: pi. March 14th (3/14) is the designated holiday, since 3.14 are the first three digits of pi. And as pi rhymes with pie, it’s only fitting to celebrate with a snack!
Can a white person of European ancestry (that’s me!) and fourth-grade kids from Eritrea, Somalia, Mexico, China and three African-Americans (my students!) find “community”? For four days in January our field group did just that.