Sunshine, spinach and new friends

May 12, 2017

A sunny Friday afternoon was the perfect time for fourth graders from Lily Lake and Oak Park elementary schools to get together at a local park to celebrate the end of a school year, and the beginning of new friendships.

With boundary changes for next year, many of the Oak Park students will be joining Lily Lake next year as fifth graders. Fourth grade classes from both schools have exchanged letters this spring to get to know each other, and they all got together on Friday to meet their pen pals in person.

“It seemed like a great opportunity to build community between the two schools and the students,” said Michelle Pentland, Lily Lake teacher.

The picnic was also a fun way to celebrate the end of a unique project happening in the fourth grade classrooms. Students at both schools had the opportunity this year to work with Washington County Master Gardeners to grow their own vegetables in milk jug gardens.  The project was funded by the Partnership Plan, which has also supported the creation of a School Garden at Lily Lake.

For the past several weeks, students learned all about what it takes to plant seeds and care for seedlings while raising vegetables like spinach, kale, lettuce, broccoli, radishes and peas. The students explored the benefits of vegetables for their own health, as well as for the environment. Many of the plants will eventually find themselves transplanted in to the Lily Lake school garden, where they will be harvested by students when they arrive to school this fall.

During the picnic, they had the opportunity to taste test a strawberry spinach salad, paid for by PowerUp and provided by the district’s food service department, and get active with a variety of fun, team-building games led by Power Up staff.