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Monday, November 16, 2015

2015-2016 Garden Workdays

Thank you to all the wonderful Lincoln volunteers for their continued support of our school garden.  We have held two very successful garden workdays this school year (September 12th and November 14th) and will plan on doing 2-3 more after the new year. So be sure to check our Healthy Kids Club Facebook page for updates and the Lincoln PTO page for more information. 

Also, teachers are prepping their garden beds this week getting them ready for our winter crop. As you may remember, Dr. Brennan planted kale last December. It proved to be a hearty crop for us and yielded several hundred pounds of kale.  We hope to do the same with brussels sprouts and broccoli this wenter.  Be sure to ask your child's teacher if they will need help in the garden. Planting will be happening mid December.

Salsa en Setiembre-Salsa Day 2015

The 2015 Salsa Day was a HUGE success.  Over 750 students at our school participated in the first ever Salsa event.  Lincoln students were truly engaged and excited about the garden, growing food, learning about the scientific process, composting, and tasting (many for the first time in their lives) the fruits of their collective labor.  We have no doubt that our efforts are making a positive impact on the students. 

Lincoln parents, JD and Ginger Aguilar deserve an extra special thank you.  They roasted all the veggies in their wood fire oven, boiled the tomatillos, and did lots of hours of prep work gearing up for the event.  An extra special thank you goes to the volunteers that worked ALL DAY (8:15-2:45pm)-Jodi Delgado, Kelly Dzubay, Hildur Simonardottir, Mary West, Estela Gutierrez, and Ginger Aguilar!  And most importantly, Dr. Eric Brennan deserves a GIGANTIC thank you for his leadership and guidance overseeing our beautiful garden/living science lab.  Our school is truly fortunate to have so many talented and caring parents.

The Salsa event received nothing less than rave reviews from teachers, students and other parents.  Thank you all for the taking the time out of your busy lives to make a difference at our school.  We hope to continue events like these in the future!

Lincoln HKC

Thursday, May 14, 2015

HKC - April updates

Well, a lot has happened the last month.  Here's a brief overview of what we accomplished in the month of April:

Monday, April 13th:  In the afternoon, we welcomed Katie Pofahl from Elkhorn Slough foundation who held class presentation for all 4th-6th graders.  Katie also donated 200 native plants to our school, which our students will be planting in May.

The HKC was invited to give a 10 minute presentation at the SCESD board meeting.  Dr. Eric Brennan, Lelyn Furey and Maria Giannini presented together on the school garden, Just Run and the NOAA grant.  Every board & cabinet member received a bundle of kale from Lincoln's garden.

Thursday, April 16th:  The HKC was selected as the beneficiary of McShane's annual Earth Day Mixer.  Several students and parents attended the evening event where some of Maestra Leyva's 4th grade students read  Spanish essays they had written about the school garden and Just Run.  Some of the students were featured on the Spanish news, Univision.  In addition, HKC received $1,900 in donations and proceeds from the silent auction!  The monies received will be spent on the school garden. 

Friday, April 17th:  In partnership with the Grower-Shipper Association and L + G law firm, we hosted a lunch for California State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson.  It was a huge honor to bring Monterey County Ag leaders together with our State and local educators to recognize the importance of school gardens and salad bars.  Several Lincoln students were on hand to harvest kale, weigh it and prepare it in a yummy kale salad made for the attendees.  We owe a huge thank you to Ginger Aguilar for coordinating all the food and beverage, Lisa Clark for donating all the party rentals, Stacey Wilson and Tracy Russell for making all the beautiful flower arrangements and Raul Suarez for the gorgeous chalk drawing!!!  Some students made were featured on KSBW and in the Californian.

Wednesday, April 22nd:  We held our second annual Earth Day event.  This year we had over 20 parent volunteers that helped man and educate all Lincoln students regarding the 5 R's: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot and Refuse.  The event was a huge success thanks to all the wonderful parent volunteers and teacher participation.  Students even made commitments to helping our planet on pieces of fabric that they tied onto the chain link fence on the playground near Maple Street.  Thank you to everyone who helped!. 

Friday, April 24th:  We hosted a family movie night with free snacks and drinks.  Families that brought old t-shirts were given a tutorial on how to make a reusable bag.  We showed the documentary "Bag It", which described the importance of reducing our use of single use plastic bags and bottles.  We also distributed bibs and t-shirts for the Just Run 3K.

Saturday, April 25th:  136 runners from Lincoln participated in the 3K Fun Run in Pacific Grove.  Lincoln was awarded $400 for 5th place in the "Large School" category.  We are looking forward to increasing our participants next year and hopefully earning more money for our school!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Eat Green - Wear Green, March 17th!

The Eat Green - Wear Green event is happening this Tuesday, March 17th!  We need parent volunteers.  If you can help please sign-up here:  EAT GREEN WEAR GREEN SIGN UP

All students will have the opportunity to taste yummy kale salad prepared by parent volunteers.  Students and teachers will help harvest kale from our beautiful, edible garden:)

For those who have concerns about allergies, here are photos of the ingredents that are going into the dressings:

Students are welcome to bring their own (alternative) dressing, if they so choose.

Don't forget to wear your GREEN!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

HKC Latest News!

So a lot has been happening with our Healthy Kids Club these past few weeks.

In case you didn't hear, our JustRun program registered 136 runners (82 students) for the April 25th 3K Fun Run!.  If you are interested in running, you still have time.  We hope to see lots of Lincoln Leopards there!

As many of you know, we held a tremendously successful garden work day with over 40 Lincoln parent volunteers and we had lots of support from the Junior League of Monterey County.  Here's an overview of the things we accomplished:

1)  Wrapped the majority of the raised beds with lattice, thanks to Chad Ritchey for his design idea and for his skilled labor.  This would not have been possible without his tremendous hard work.

2) Students painted lots of rocks, which you can see throughout the garden.  Thanks to Jodi Delgado for organizing all the supplies, parent volunteers and kiddos to make this happen.  Tracy Russell was also a BIG help with all the kids artwork.  THANK YOU TO BOTH JODI & TRACY (and all the parents that chipped in)!!!

3) Garden toad stools -  have you seen the adorable, painted ceramic mushrooms around the garden?  The idea came from Jodi Delgado and she lead the project from start to finish - HUGE THANK YOU to Jodi!

4) We weeded throughout the garden.  Lots of volunteers helped, even the kiddos.  It looks so much better. 

5) Under the direction of Dr. Eric Brennan, volunteers built several more drip irrigation systems.  We owe a special thanks to Maestra Eva Rios for connecting us with Sherman Williams; they donated all the 5 gallon buckets for our drip systems.   Special thanks to Carrie Tenney for her patience and tenacity in putting together all the tiny little pieces!

6) Kinder teacher, Kelli Hemenway, created beautiful suncatchers that you can see throughout the garden!  She is truly a creative force and we sincerely appreciate her contributions to the school garden!
7) We also hauled several yards of mulch and gravel from the playground to the garden (lots of work).  Many thanks to everyone who chipped in!  The gravel was donated by McShane's Nursery - Steve McShane has been very supportive and generous of our garden.  THANK YOU STEVE!

Mark your calendars for the 2nd garden workday- April 18th!  We hope to see you all there!

In addition, we are planning our 2nd annual Wear Green - Eat Green event on Tuesday, March 17th.  Teachers will have the opportunity to bring their students into the garden, harvest kale and prep a salad with the help of HKC parent volunteers.  Don't forget to WEAR GREEN!


Friday, February 20, 2015

To all Lincoln Healthy Kids Club supporters-

Thank you to everyone who attended the PTO meeting on Tuesday, February 17th.  We know that there were many others that wanted to be there to show your support, but couldn't.  Thank you for your positive energy and continued support!   Thank you for taking a stand in support of the incredible work many Lincoln teachers, students and parents have invested in over the past year.

For those of you who weren't able to attend the meeting, Dr. Eric Brennan presented on the garden and all the accomplishments and some of our future plans.  He did an excellent job (of course)!  He also presented the budget for this coming weekend's garden workday and thanks to all of you who voted to approve $2,000 for the expenses (from the 2014 Jog-a-thon monies).  There was much discussion about the $2,000 from the Western Growers Grants which Margaret D'Arrigo Martin secured for our school garden.  We had hoped to use those grant funds for this coming weekend's workday, but the board wanted more time to review the specifics of those grants.  Never-the-less, we have the money we need and we owe a HUGE debt of gratitude to Margaret for procuring the grant monies which we can use for future garden expenditures.

Jenny Cogswell also presented on the $4,000 NOAA grant and the wonderful learning Lincoln students have been experiencing related to becoming an Ocean Guardian School. Thank you to all of you who supported the motion to purchase another water-bottle refill hydration station (up to $2,500 from 2014's jog-a-thon monies), which will be installed in the hallway in front of the teachers' lounge. Additionally, Jenny informed everyone that a third water-bottle refill hydration station has already been purchased from the NOAA grant monies and is waiting to be installed in the playground area!!!!  Soooooo great for our kids and teachers!!!!  She also let us know about the waste audits that Estela Gutierrez (Lincoln parent and Salinas Valley Waste Authority)  has helped conduct on our campus.  4th grade students will be reviewing the findings for the audits and working with Estela to figure out ways to increase our recycling and eliminate waste.  Thank you to Estela, Maestra Leyva & Mrs. Alder!!!!

Again, thank you all for your continued support of the Healthy Kids Club and our school garden. 

Maria Giannini
Co-chair, Lincoln Garden Committee

Monday, February 9, 2015

Ocean Guardian School Grant - Findings from Waste Audit #1

As part of the NOAA Grant we received, we are charged with conducting three waste audits of our school trash and recyclables.  We reached out to Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority, specifically Estela Gutierrez, for help.  Estela is a parent at Lincoln and happens to know a lot about trash and recycling,  thank goodness!  Estela partnered with Maestra Leyva's 4th graders and conducted Lincoln's first waste audit on October 28th. 

Here are some of their findings

Date: October 28, 2014
Time: 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Place: Lincoln School by the garbage area
Purpose: To find out how much recyclable material is still going into the trash and to better understand Lincoln School’s garbage and recycling waste streams. The school has one, 8-cubic yard garbage dumpster that is emptied 3 times per week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday which equals 24 cubic yards of garbage capacity per week. During the assessment the 8 cubic yard was 40% full. We assessed 20% of the trash which is equivalent to approximately 2 cubic yard of trash.
Ms. Leyva’s 4th grade class along with the Salinas Valley Recycles staff sorted and weighted the recycling and garbage. The objective of this audit was mainly to identify materials that were being generated on a daily basis and identify opportunities for reducing waste and improving the existing recycling program. The lessons learned during this will be passed on to school to improve the diversion program at the school. 

Waste Assessment Findings:
Food scraps, mixed paper and milk waste were the top 3 recyclable or recoverable materials found in the assessment and represent over 50% of the sorted waste stream.

Food Scraps can be diverted. Most of the apples found were uneaten. Consider promoting “take what you want –eat what you take” message. Encourage students, staff and faculty to not take food if they are not going to eat it. If students bring a meal from home, encourage them to pack a waste-free-lunch. Cutting fruit like apples, bananas, and oranges into smaller pieces can also significantly reduce the amount of food waste.
Ms. Leyva class has a worm compost system and some of the food can be separated for the worms but since there is a lot of food wasted a commercial collection program is recommended. Weekly food scrap collection service is provided by Republic Services. Food scraps collection fees are lower-priced than trash collection.
Mixed paper can be recycled in the recycling bin. It looks like some of the recyclables from the classrooms are being emptied in the trash dumpster. There were bags full of paper in the trash. Recycling training for the custodian crew, staff, students and faculty can be provided by Salinas Valley Recycles.
Leftover Milk Waste can be diverted in a bucket or container and disposed of in the sewer system. Removing milk from the garbage dumpsters will also reduce dumpster corrosion, and potentially decrease insect problems in the garbage dumpster area. Encourage your students to drink all their milk or ask that they not take it if they are not going to drink it.
Yard waste can be diverted into a yard waste cart. Yard waste collection can be arranged with Republic Services.
Milk Cartons (empty) can be recycled in the recycling bin. In the cafeteria, the school can set up a bucket or plastic container for the students to empty leftover milk and place a recycling container lined with a clear plastic bag to recycle all the empty milk cartons. Encourage your students to drink all their milk or ask that they not take it if they are not going to drink it. A recycling
container to recycle the milk cartons can be provided by Salinas Valley Recycles. 5
Rigid Plastics (clean and empty) can be recycled in the recycling bin. Most of the plastic was cereal bowls.
Wrappers/Packaging (clean and dry) can be recycled in the bag-in-bag program and recycled in the recycling bin.
Juice pouches (empty) can be recycled in the recycling bin or the school can participate in the Terracycle program
Zip Lock Bags (clean and dry) can be recycled in the bag-in-bag program and place in the recycling bin. Reducing waste is more important, the school can encourage students and staff to bring their snacks or food in reusable containers.
Plastic Bags (clean and dry) can be recycled in the bag-in a bag program and place into recycling bin. Reducing waste is more important, the school can encourage students and staff to use reusable bags for groceries and produce or buy stuff that doesn’t come in a plastic bag.
CRV- Water Bottles and Aluminum Cans can be recycled in the recycling bin. There were 8 plastic water bottles and 2 aluminum cans found in the trash representing approximately 1% of the waste stream.
Unopened Items were found in the trash like cereal bowls, quesadillas wrapped in plastic bag, snacks, and milk cartons.
Salinas Valley Recycles can continue to provide training to custodians, staff, faculty and students to help the school divert the waste that still going in the trash. We can assist to train an environmental group or green team that will help divert waste daily during lunch time. The team can support the Lincoln recycling program by assisting classroom that need help with recycling and to continue providing education on what items are recyclables and how the recycling program works.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Garden Work day - Saturday, Feb. 21st, 9am-2pm!

The next garden committee meeting will be held on Thursday, February 12th, 11:30am-12:30pm in the garden courtyard at Lincoln.  Please RSVP if you plan on attending, as we will provide sandwiches for all attendees.  

Mark your calendars for our Garden Workday supported by the Junior League of Monterey County on Saturday, February 21st, from 9am-2pm (come as early or late and stay as long as you can).  Children are welcome and we will have arts/crafts for the little ones.  Snacks will be provided.

We want to give a big shout out to Eric Brennan for planting all the kale in all the garden beds.  The kale is just about ready to harvest and we are excited that every class will have the opportunity to taste the yummy kale!

Many thanks to the dedicated parents, students, teachers and administrators that are helping the garden project come to fruition.  As we all know, this is a long range project and we continue to make considerable headway towards our vision!  Everyone's hard work is greatly appreciated and valued. 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

HKC Accomplishments

2014- $500 Western Growers Association - garden supplies
2014- $4,000 NOAA Ocean Guardian School Grant - to eliminate plastic bottles and bags on campus
2014- $1,500 - Western Growers Association- garden supplies
2015- $2,000 - Whole Kids Foundation - Garden Professional Development for Teachers

In-kind donations:
$1,000+ Home Depot, Salinas
$1,500+ Orchard Hardware Store, Salinas
$1,800+ Hayward Lumber
$2,000+ Junior League of Monterey County

Volunteer hours to be tallied and reported soon!

Lincoln Garden Project Update

HKC- Garden Committee is awarded the Whole Foods Healthy Kids Grant!

Thanks to the work of the HKC committee members, spear headed by Bronwyn Moreno, the HKC and our Garden Project were awarded $2,000 in grant monies.  The money will be used to offset the expense of professional development for our Lincoln teachers.  UCSC-Life Lab provides on-site (in-house) training and we are looking forward to having our teachers take part in the exciting learning opportunity.

Garden Project Overview

Purpose & Goals:
1) Heath & Nutrition-the school garden should be a place to help children learn more about where their food comes from. Students can learn about making food choices for a healthful diet and eating seasonal foods that are grown locally. Learning about where food comes from is a wonderful way to connect to the garden to geography and history. We can work towards comprising a class cookbook of favorite recipes using the crops from the school garde.

2) Outdoor learning- Gardening offers hands-on, experiential learning opportunities in a wide array of disciplines, including the natural and social sciences, math, language arts (e.g., through garden journaling), visual arts (e.g., through garden design and decoration), and nutrition. With recent concern over relatively weak science and math skills among American children, the need for innovation in science and math teaching is apparent. There is mounting evidence that students who participate in school gardening score significantly higher on standardized science achievement tests (Klemmer, 2005).Gardening activities can help to engage students in learning in a way that is more difficult in the classroom. Gardening allows surprises to arise when insects land in the vicinity, when plants are afflicted with mites or fungus, or when the weather surprises everyone and disrupts the plan for the day, for example. These surprises show that nature is in control and they give students immediate and personal reasons for wanting to know the answers to pressing questions.  Because of the engaging nature of garden learning, students with attention deficit and other disorders often find it more suitable for their learning styles. Teachers report fewer discipline problems when science is taught in this sort of experiential manner, for example. Teachers develop useful concepts, such as “invisible walls,” to create a sense of boundaries when learning in the garden.

3) Connection with the community and it’s rich agricultural history- Gardening ties students to the social and material history of the land. Gardeners from the community can be brought in to demonstrate local, traditional gardening techniques and the traditional uses of particular plants. Gardening offers many opportunities for connecting with local history by incorporating native plants and plants grown during specific historical eras.

4) Beautification & school pride-  of school grounds- Like a team sport or mascot, gardening can offer a symbolic focus of school pride and spirit. Gardening offers schools a way of helping children to identify with their school and to feel proud of their own individual contribution. Children know which plants they helped to grow, and they feel proud of them. This can improve school spirit and children’s attitudes toward the school.

Immediate goals:

1) Create garden task force of experts to review and evaluate current design, layout and functionality of the school garden (ie equipment, irrigation, weeding, supplies)
2) Develop plan to address the short term needs of the garden based of the task forces recommendations:  a) prioritize needs, b) develop budget, c) create list of potential volunteers/donors to help, d) research potential grants and donors
3) Discuss short term goals with school administration and teachers- receive input on how the teachers would like to incorporate the garden into their class room (task force to develop an online survey for the teachers)
4) Task force to research potential volunteer organizations that may be willing to develop a relationship with our school garden project (ie Monterey Ag Education, Vista Volunteers, UCCE Master Gardener Program, JLMC)

Long range goals:

1) Create a thriving and robust edible garden (host school activities/events, create a school farmers market, host cooking classes, create school cook books, etc)
2) Create a beautiful outdoor classroom that our students and teachers want to utilize and our school community is proud of (develop a lunch time rotation for classroom to enjoy the garden as a perk, enlist a team of local experts to help our teachers will lessons, etc.)
3) Create a student/parent/community volunteer garden program that encourages school involvement and creates a sense of school community that everyone can be proud of.