We set aside almost every Wednesday afternoon for a three-hour-long Stewardship in Action block, an opportunity for students to carry out community chores, to practice stewardship on the Conserve School campus, to prepare for college, and to learn from visiting professionals who work in careers related to the environment. As much as we can, we integrate these various purposes so that students are learning about conservation, careers, college, and community service in an active, hands-on way. The long block on Wednesday gives us a lot of flexibility to rotate students through a variety of activities and to accommodate the busy schedules of visiting professionals.
This past Wednesday we had, as usual, quite a variety of choices available to students. We held a Blood Drive, so many students and staff members gave blood; Kathy Jones, Math Teacher, and Kathleen O’Connor, Academic Dean, offered ACT prep sessions, since many students will be taking the ACT in a few weeks; maple sap had been collected so a group of students worked on boiling it down into maple syrup; another group of students performed maintenance on our rock-climbing wall, cleaning it, tightening and re-arranging rocks and handholds, and marking out new routes; others learned how to bend metal bars to a pre-determined curve for the hoophouses we’re constructing; some chose to make thank you cards in the art room for the search-and-rescue teams that helped us this weekend; and then the group I was with worked in the kitchen alongside our Sodexo food service staff to make bread and pies for the next day’s meal. We’re delighted that Sodexo staff members are collaborating with us this year to engage students more in food preparation. As time goes on, we’re hoping to integrate more and more organic, local, whole foods into our cooking projects as a way of educating students not only about basic cooking skills but also about eating habits that are healthy both for us and for our environment.
Enjoy the photos of the cooking group — it was quite an adventure learning how to use the kitchen’s industrial-size equipment and making 150 servings of bread and 12 pies at once!