Field reports from

Primary Academy for Success School

The edible garden at the Primary Academy for Success School was completed in Spring 2016 with the help of volunteers from the Whittier College Sustainability Club.

Water Cycle At Primary Academy

We sat down last week at Primary Academy to discuss the water cycle and it’s importance in plants and nature.   The kids learned to identify evaporation, condensation and precipitation in the cycle and what each means.   Our foggy, cloudy morning was a good segueway into the lesson.  Once the kids drew and labeled…

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All the Little Helpers

Today in the garden at Primary Academy we were surrounded by tons of helpful creatures.  The second graders learned a lot about worms by getting up close and personal!  These little invertabraes not only create delicious compost but they also dig tunnels throughout the soil letting air and water reach even the deepest roots.  …

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Hill, hill, STRAWberries!

You know why they call them strawberries?  Because these delicious fruits of the Earth have a tendency to draw even the quietest of creatures to feast upon their goodness.  At every single one of my four schools, rollie-pollies love to munch on our beloved strawberries…I’ve tried Dr. Bronners, I’ve tried weed liner…we are now trying…

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Microbes Everywhere at Primary Academy!

Where are microbes?  Everywhere!  It was easy for the students to realize just how important microbes are when you learn that they outnumber humnas by the billions.  Bacteria tiny as can be, unseen to the naked eye, but changing the world everyday…those are microbes.   We call them invisible transformers and they are amazing!  …

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Yay to Cauliflower @ Primary Academy!

Last week at Primary Academy, we planted cool weather veggies in the garden.   Seeds of broccoli, carrots and snap peas were sowed into the beds and seedlings of mustard, Chinese cabbage and kale were transplanted as well. This week, we had a special treat for a snack. My lovely volunteer and nutritional science major,…

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Primary Academy Tidies Up!

Last week at Primary Academy we worked really hard pruning all of our tomato plants that had started to brown a bit.  The kids also trimmed the herbs and deadheaded some mums.   We discovered three plants that had created seeds for us to save…beans, corn, and sunflowers. It was a great lesson for students…

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Here Comes Summer at Primary Academy!

Summer has definitely hit the garden at Primary Academy for Success.   The kids could see vibrant colors bursting everywhere with strawberries thriving and tomatoes popping.   We discussed all the good things that beneficial bugs do for our garden and learned about some not so favorable pests as well.  Ms. Garcia’s kindergarteners released over…

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Herbal Bouqets

Last week at Primary Academy, the second graders spent their bonus session talking about herbs and how lovely they can be in a garden, added to a dish, or in aiding our bodies to fight discomfort or illness.  We walked throughout the garden beds and examined all the herbs through sight, touch, taste and smell….

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Garden Loving and Learning

Last week at Primary Academy the second graders spent their last “bonus” garden class loving on the garden.   We reviewed our plant parts, composting, and seasons by choosing warm weather and mostly fruit bearing seeds to plant in compostable containers.   The kids went nuts deciding on pepper, tomato, melon and zucchini seeds and…

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Colors Abound at Primary Academy

Today at Primary Academy for success we learned the nutritional value of eating the rainbow.  The second graders played a game in groups…after learning what a specific color fruit or veggie does for your body, each group had to name a food of that color.   The first group to draw a blank, had to…

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World of Wonder

As the tiny TK and Kinders filed out into the garden, the whole day slowed.  It’s easy to get wrapped up in what needs to get done, how much time it needs to get done in and whatnot.  When 4 and 5 year olds are your focus, being a garden teacher is the best!  You…

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Eat (Or Drink) The Rainbow

Last week at Primary Acadamy the Kinders and First graders had their last class with me.   We discussed the importance of eating the rainbow and went through, color by color, all the delicious and healthy foods that we eat and what they do for our bodies.   The kids were very enthusiastic and when…

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Seasons Matter

This week at Primary Academy we delved into the importance of seasons and more specifically, the two main planting seasons that we here in SoCal are lucky to experience.  As with sun, water and soil…temperature plays a key factor in may plants’ ability to thrive or enter dormancy.  The kids discovered by merely glancing at…

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Keeping Calm

The kindergarten class came out into the garden for the first time since the weather cleared up last week.  They had a lot to look and and many questions.  It was a very stimulating visit and a surprise visit from a stray puppy wandering on campus really got the little ones in a tizzy.  Calming…

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Primary Academy Plays Eye Spy

This past Wednesday at Primary Academy we stayed cozy inside for the majority of our class time.  However, it wasn’t raining during the majority of the day, so we ventured out after the lesson was taught to identify some of what we learned.  I had all kinders and first graders, so after reviewing the garden…

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Primary Passes Through The Rainbow

Last week at Primary Academy for Success, the students met me in the garden for our last class before departing on winter break.  We discussed the importance of eating a variety of colors in our diet.  Kids listed different colored fruits and veggies and learned what certain colors can do for their growing bodies!  We…

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Primary Academy Gets to Work

When I first arrived at Primary last week, my head bowed a bit.  This school is one of my faves and one of my biggest challenges.  It is a North Facing garden, which means all the plants struggle a tad more to thrive…the light they are given is not as abundant and to add to…

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Primary Academy Builds Greens and Browns

This past week at Primary Academy was a great introduction to the importance of compost.  The kids had an idea of what compost was but learned quickly that it was NOT SOIL and NOT DIRT!!!   Breaking down the main components of compost and building their own batch with yummy leftover pumpkins and shredded brown cardboard…

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Primary Academy Ties Things Up

The second graders at Primary Academy may be moving on up to a new school next year but they will head there with some awesome garden knowledge.  The kids wrapped up their six week session by impressing each other with a review on what we had learned in the weeks before while we munched on…

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Primary Academy For Success Harvests Seeds

Today at Primary Academy was really, really productive.  The second graders settled into their nice air conditioned classrooms for a seed lesson.  We started off by reading the oh so amazing book, “A Seed Is Sleepy” and after so many comments and questions, I pulled out a tray of saved and dried flowering plants.  Kids…

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Mayberry Elementary Conserves

This week at Mayberry we discussed the huge importance water plays in regards to humans and more importantly, for plants.  Plants need water to gain nutrients, for photosynthesis and for structure and growth.  The kids were full of ideas on how to conserve water.  Growing up and living in California is an amazing asset for…

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Primary Academy Creates Compost

On Wednesday at Primary Academy the second graders entered the garden alert and ready to go!  We jumped right in to our compost lesson and the kids helped me list the five parts of compost (greens, browns, decomposers, air and water) and explain why all were essential to creating a healthy and sustaining batch of…

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Back to Primary Academy for Success

What a great first day back with the second graders at Primary Academy! We reviewed the rules of the garden and then jumped right into our lesson on the parts of the plant.The kids were pretty knowledgeable on the different parts of the plants and things got fun when I showed them pictures of different…

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Successful garden at Primary Academy 

The garden is looking good. Not a lot of weeds to pull and the plants are doing well. The plants seemed smaller than what they should be so I decided to fertlize today. I loot forward to seeing the results of fertlizing next week thanks to Amal Gold Nutrients great organic plant superfood that I…

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Trellis Training at Primary Academy

I love the set up of this garden, and the expansion. The garden is looking fantastic. Today mostly consisted of training the plants to grow on the trellis in the garden beds. Some plants need extra support, which is why we put trellises in the garden, that are not useful if the plants are not…

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PAFSS – Room to grow

Hello garden friends, Jeff here, reporting live from the Primary Academy for Success School. This new garden is off to a great start! Plants look great and weeds are manageable for now. A compost system and lockable tool box would take this place to the next level. Ordering some woodchips and a few more cubic…

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Friends and Foes at Primary Academy

It was a cool and cloudy morning at Primary Academy and so getting our heart rates up and playing a friendly game of “Friend and Foe Freeze Tag” was very welcome.  The kids had a ton of energy right out of the gate, the discussion of enemies and protectors in the garden was an exuberant…

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Primary Academy for Success Gains a Garden

     What a sweet little school filled with sweet little children needs is a sweet little garden and that’s just what EnrichLa has done for Primary Academy.   The school is small, only teaching grades TK through 2nd and boy were they eager to get out into the garden.   With help from super…

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