OUR Outreach Update July 2018
by Brooklyn Glass
At OUR ecovillage, we believe that students learn better when they physically lay their hand to the subject they are engaging with. Our goal is to provide students with an opportunity to learn outside the classroom walls at OUR immersed learning environment AND earn credit for it!
So, we have been busy extending our branches to schools in District 79 and inviting them to come collaborate with us. After some inspiring conversations with some pioneer superintendents and principals; we have set sail on a pilot project course at Frances Kelsey High School and the Mill Bay Nature School (public school), that will be multidisciplinary and project based.
We have been huge supporters of the new public Mill Bay Nature Elementary School opening up in September! OUR team attended their opening potluck and have welcomed The Pack planning meeting to be hosted at OUR ecovillage. We are thrilled to be collaborating with The Pack and looking forward to the unraveling partnership with the Nature School.
We have also been busy planting seeds at Discovery Elementary School. The team taught two wonderful first and second grade classes. Our objective is to encourage students to think about how local consumption can have a positive impact on the environment and the community. We did this by setting up a mock farmers market in their class and got them to buy ingredients and bake an apple rhubarb crumble. Then we together planted a rhubarb plant and an apple tree in their school’s garden.
One star question we asked to the children was: Why are we using apple rhubarb and not mangos and pineapples? It was fascinating to hear their answers and to see them make connections between the environmental impact of their choices. One child replied by saying “because mangos grow in hot places” and then all the other children shared an ha-ah moment as the answer clicked in their brilliant minds. The children were wonderfully excited to be baking and to taste the fruits of their learning when the apple crisp came out of the oven!
Lastly, OUR outreach team is also planting our colourful posters around the Cowichan to invite community members to taste the food from our land through our CSA box program. The garden is abundant and wanting to be enjoyed!