Monday, July 13, 2009

Media Mondays: child hunger, child poverty

This breaks my heart, but it's been "normal" news for a while now and will be for another while. Any while is too long.

One of my pet projects floating around in my head and yet to become reality, is to create a school garden. Or at least a classroom garden, if I can't get the school to get on board. Tomatoes and cucumbers are relatively easy to grow from seeds. It would be fun to throw in some sort of berry bush too. My friends J&S are having lots of luck with green onions and bok choy, so that's an idea too. The plants need to be easy to grow, doesn't take too much space, and have some sort of near-for-sure yield. Like the White House vegetable garden, on a (much) smaller scale.

Whatever the garden comes up with, we'll have a little taste test in class. There are so many lessons I can integrate with that: plant biology, environmental science, math and economics, social studies and how food affects culture. A crazy wealth of things to learn. I do have to be careful not to make the lessons middle-class-white-washed. Which I tend to do, unconsciously. But if I stick to the facts and vary the points of view, it might work.

Besides physical and mental development, the stresses of hunger affect people in sometimes unpredictable ways. They can be stoic, or angry, or depressed, or it can light a fire and push them to do more, both negative and positive actions. And neutral ones too.

I know school lunches are not always the most nutritionally effective, but at least it's something.

And I know a class garden doesn't really relieve student's poverty or hunger. Hm, maybe this idea in itself is pretty white-washed.

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