Special Ed is Inspired at Juan Cabrillo

It is a pleasure to see the same students this year at Juan Cabrillo Elementary. Most of the students know me and Frank by name and are especially keen of the garden space, asking during recess for chocolate mint, kale, lemon balm and spicy nasturtium flowers. One class that has been coming to visit is an all-boys special ed class, ages 7-10 years old. Not having seen them all summer, I was pleasantly surprised to see how the boys had grown taller; I barely recognized them! They’ve also developed a new-found curiosity for the garden: looking at the flowers and flying creatures, examining what’s growing, spying different shapes and colors, and watering the plants. We spent 10 minutes calmly walking around the garden space observing; then sat at the table to draw pictures together. One lad saw a tomato, another pumpkins, another spiders…. My heart was warmed to see them express themselves through their drawings!

Hope Cox

Native to Tennessee, Hope fell in love with urban farming while majoring in Nutrition/Dietetics at UT Chattanooga. She volunteered at an urban farm there for two years and gleaned (pun intended!) bushels of knowledge about harvesting & planting, CSA box coordination, farmers market stands, school field trips, farm-to-table and more. When Hope moved to Los Angeles in late 2014, she began volunteering with EnrichLA and soon after became a Ranger. She loves sharing with her elementary students the hands-on experience of gardening, finding bugs, composting and eating from the garden. The expression of glee on the students' faces when they discover a new critter or favorite vegetable is the best part of Hope's day! One day, she hopes to be a real farmer in the country but for now is glad to be learning the ins-and-outs of inner-city farming.