While many shelters help distribute food to needy families in the community, they often focus on gathering non-perishable, packaged foods with a long shelf life. While this makes sense, these foods are not providing a healthy, balanced diet for the residents in the shelters. Because fresh fruits and vegetables are expensive, many children living in underprivileged houses will miss out on these wholesome snacks.
The Outdoor Classroom will help close this nutrient gap by donating a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables and fish to Pepperrell Aid Community to Home (PACH) , a local homeless in our community. Students participating in the Outdoor Classroom at PACH will also learn 80% of the College Board’s AP Biology curriculum through engaging, hands-on activities. The Outdoor Classroom consists of an aquaponic system, two potato bins, and a vermicompost bin.
We would use this surplus money to build two more raised beds to supplement the donations, buy seeds and purchase materials to construct a picnic table to encourage more time spent in the garden area.
Because of the rising price of AP testing, many capable and determined students cannot afford to pay the $87 dollar exam fee. With this money, we would also hope to start the Outdoor Classroom grant. This would allow students who actively participate in in the garden full-time to apply for The Outdoor Classroom grant which would pay for the AP Biology exam fee.
Lastly, we plan on using this money to host "Picnic and Planting Day" for elementary students in the North Middlesex District. We would bus the children over, have a picnic in the courtyard, educate the students on healthy eating habits, and have them fully engage in gardening and garden related activities.