Congratulations to Principal Sasha Slocum and the folks from William J. McGinn Elementary School of Scotch Plains for being awarded the “Overall Winning Garden” for this year’s School Garden of the Year Award!
The William J. McGinn School serves kindergarten, lower and upper elementary students. This year, the kindergarten developed a garden center in their classroom where they grew and studied plants and shared their findings with second grade buddies. The pairs also jointly planted corn kernels in translucent containers, which they transplanted to the garden. First grade developed a picture map of the vegetables grown in the garden after researching the beds and studying map characteristics. Second grade wrote letters to pen pals across the district regarding the plants they had planted and gave them a tour when they visited in the Spring. Third grade developed global cookbooks based on how different cultures use the foods we grow and provided copies to the local libraries. Fourth grade wrote persuasive letters about the benefits of the vegetables they grew to seventh grade peer leaders who then visited the garden to get an informative tour with poster presentations from the fourth graders.
We’ll be honoring McGinn Elementary during a ceremony some time in October to award them with a $1500 prize from the contest sponsors listed below. Congratulations to all the schools that entered this year’s contest, including the three schools that won the “Best Nutrition Education”, “Best Environmental Education” and “Best Community Collaboration” awards. It was a difficult decision to choose the winners because so many gardens are doing such great work teaching children about nutrition, environmental education and experiential learning. Thank you all for sharing your stories.
Thank you to all of the schools that entered. It was a tough job for the judges to decide! The following 14 schools were our semi-finalists:
- Cape May City Elementary
- Delsea Regional High School
- Elizabeth Haddon School
- Ethel Jacobsen Elementary School
- Greater Newark Charter School
- Hillside School
- Johnson Park Elementary School
- Mullica Township School
- Ocean City Intermediate School
- Point Road School
- Seaview Elementary School
- The Urban Farm at Lafayette Learning Center
- Waldwick High School
- William J. McGinn Elementary School
We’d like to thank our sponsors. Their support makes this project possible. THANK YOU!
Start digging… we’ll see you next year!