Remember that cold snap we had back in January? Just as soon as there was a break in the weather, second graders raced outside to check on their fairy houses. They wondered if the frozen temperatures damaged their structures and were eager to assess and repair!
Students at The Learning Center Charter School maintain a vegetable garden on campus which has them working in the dirt all school year long. Kindergarten through eighth grade students at the school do everything in the garden from weeding, planting, watering and harvesting fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers.
Gardening and agriculture have always been important at the school. Director, Mary Jo Dyre, believes that gardening engages students by providing a living environment to observe, discover, experiment, nurture, and learn. “Gardens are living laboratories where our students learn everything from team work to food production and lessons can be taught across the curriculum,” says Dyre.
In September, students planted turnip seeds as part of their winter garden. In December, students excitedly harvested the turnips and learned that the root and greens are edible. All of these young gardeners were given a hearty serving to take home, while others eagerly ate their turnip raw.
Emily Willey, elementary science and outdoor learning coordinator at the charter school, makes gardening a regular part of the daily routine for students at the school. “Playing an active role in food production teaches young people everything from agriculture to nutrition. These kids love seeing the fruits of their labor and are willing to eat unfamiliar vegetables as a result.”
This September, Learning Center charter school 6th-8th grade students embarked on a two night, three day camping trip to explore Cherokee history and the great outdoors. While camping in the Deep Creek area, students explored their surroundings in a variety of different ways.
Students enjoyed a horseback ride through a wooded trail and were able to learn about local flora and fauna. They were taught the basics of horseback safety while exploring the incredible biodiversity of our mountains.
While at camp, students hiked, waded in the river, found signs of insect and animal life, inspected plants of all kinds, and tried their hand at fishing. In camp, students were taught leave-no-trace ethics and pitched in to set up camp and maintain a safe, clean, and happy community.
The group ventured out of camp to enjoy a hayride and ride the Smoky Mountain Railroad Steam Train.
“The Moving Wall” is the half-size replica of the Washington, DC Vietnam Veterans Memorial and has been touring the country for thirty plus years. When John Devitt attended the 1982 dedication in Washington, he felt the positive power of “The Wall.” He vowed to share that experience with those who did not have the opportunity to go to Washington.
Devitt, Norris Shears, Gerry Haver, and other Vietnam veteran volunteers built The Moving Wall. It went on display for the first time in Tyler, Texas in October of 1984. Two structures of The Moving Wall now travel the USA from April through November, spending about a week at each site.
The Moving Wall was in Murphy October 5 -9, 2017 at Band of Brothers Veterans Park located at 430 Carriage Lane.
Sixth through eighth grade students visited The Moving Wall.
These events were sponsored by Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, Cherokee County Schools NC and Band of Brothers Veterans Park.
Students at TLC aren’t strangers to getting their hands dirty. Why? Because gardening engages students by providing a living environment to observe, discover, experiment, nurture, and learn.
Gardens are living laboratories where our students learn everything from team work to food production and lessons can be taught across the curriculum. Gardening encourages students to become active participants in the learning process.
These first graders took time to plant radishes. However, they weren’t just planting radishes. They were also learning about energy that plants need to grow. They also deepened their understanding of how plants get nutrients from the soil to grow, flower and produce food.
While they were in the garden, they snipped dozens of marigold blossoms in order to make garlands to decorate their classroom in celebration of fall harvest season!
First grade scientists recently ventured outside with Ms. Katie, Ms. Becky, and Ms. Emily as they began learning out in the field in The Outdoor Learning Center (TOLC.) They observed and recorded living and nonliving parts of our environment. They discussed that all living things grow, eat, react, reproduce, and move. Students were fascinated to learn the different ways plants move! They also noted several ways that plant and animals show signs of life by reacting to stimuli.