The event included remarks by special guests, including the Grimm Family Foundation, which has contributed greatly to the development of the McKinley Garden. Following the ceremonial ribbon-cutting, guests were treated to appetizers created with special ingredients from the garden made by students alongside Nutrition Services staff.
Kelly Atkinson, Program Administrator for Edible School Yard of Kern County, said, “We have been working with BCSD for the past year, and today we are celebrating the grand opening of their garden at McKinley. In this garden, they will teach students how to grow, harvest, cultivate the land, and feed themselves and nourish their families.”
Mariyah Espinoza, a 4th grader at McKinley, expressed her excitement to attendees, “We have so many cool things growing in our garden that will help us grow strong. I really like that we have chickens to care for, and worms that help our planet thrive. We are truly harvesting the future.”
The McKinley Garden is one of two Extended Learning Academies that have already been implemented as part of the district’s efforts to create STEAM Focused after school programs at all school sites. Fremont Elementary School implemented a Science Academy earlier this year. Both McKinley and Fremont have already been successful and students are engaged in the components of their learning module.
All BCSD schools have reviewed their Extended Learning Program and are planning with their school teams for the 2019-2020 implementation. Each site has selected a focus in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Performing and Visual Arts.
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