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  • Writer's pictureShicole

Nature & School

In addition to being an urban gardener, I am an urban educator. I am a strong advocate of educators living in the communities where they teach.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to attend one of The Mind Trust's bus tours. The purpose of the bus tours, started in 2014, is to highlight successful public urban schools. Tour attendees tour two schools during each tour. I was drawn to their April tour because I used to live in the neighboorhood where the schools highlighted in the tour were located and I attended one of the schools in 1st grade.

We had the opportunity to tour Brookside Elementary School (the school I had attended) and Paramount School of Excellence (PSOE). Although each school leader acknowledged they still have challenges, they have made great strides in helping students in their schools, regardless of their background, reach success.

I was particularly drawn to the work at the PSOE. It was a perfect mesh of my two worlds of gardening and educating our youth.

The article, "Nourishing the Neighborhood" in the Spring 2015 edition of Edible Indy noted PSOE had, "Egg-producing hens, four dairy goats (milked daily at 7 am), vegetable and herb gardens, a three-hive apiary, a water cisern system, and a community hoop greenhouse maintained by three staff members in addition to the students." The students who accompanied us on our tour spoke with pride about their school.

While outside on the grounds of PSOE, it is easy to forget you are in the middle of Indianapolis. I really enjoyed my time at both schools and look forward to hearing about their future progress.

On September 12, 2015 from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. the TURN (Transforming Urban Neighborhoods) Festival will take place at PSOE and Brookside Park. My family plans to be there!

Click the video below to learn more about PSOE's STEAM (Success Through Education, Agriculture, and Mentoring) Program.

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