Most of my students are from our local projects and they do not have land to plant, or the knowledge. It is so important that they learn about gardens now. – Lisa Liss, 5th Grade Teacher
The Tolerance Kids, a motivated group of 5th graders, are inspired by their new project, a school garden!
Their teacher, Lisa Liss, worked for the Freedom Writer’s Foundation and was inspired through her experiences to create the Tolerance Club, whose catch phrase of, “hate hurts, tolerance heals” is a clear summary of their intentions. The Tolerance Kids, along with Mrs. Liss, built the Tolerance Garden at Woodlake Elementary, where their bountiful harvest produced enough to donate jars of salsa, made by the students, to the Wind Youth Center. Every grade level is responsible for a fruit tree in the Tolerance Garden, thereby creating a unifying bond between the whole school.
Their progress is astounding given their challenges; the school is based in a low-income neighborhood, and 95% of students have free and reduced school lunch. They had problems with theft; the students raised money for a bench which was promptly stolen after it was installed. Only a few parents and teachers have been involved in the garden thus far, and the lack of that adult leadership means that less kids can participate in the garden.
But we have a plan!
And the plan begins with you! After numerous visits, meetings and designs, the Woodlake Garden Proposal was completed successfully and includes all the steps necessary to grow the garden while encouraging the participation of Woodlake’s local community. Before we can build garden beds, plant more fruit trees, create a compost system, install a few straw bale benches and beautify a community that needs a hand, we need your help. By donating to Woodlake’s new school garden, you are helping to bridge the gap between what’s growing in the soil, and what’s on the plate.