By Helen Siegel
For the past two years we have offered a Gardening Class among the Wellness Wednesday options led by parent volunteer Liba Zweigbaum Herman sharing her passion for and training in Environmental Education. This year students are very fortunate to be learning with Liba who is co-teaching with Curtis Wilson, the Director of SLP SEEDS, a St. Louis Park initiative in sustainability and wellness. Second-grade teacher Crystal Reese and Helen Siegel support (and enjoy) the class as well. (You can read more about Curtis and his work in the April 2017 issue of St. Louis Park Magazine.)
This past week, the lesson centered around the importance of nutrient rich soil needed for gardening and farming. We learned that there needed to be interdependence of elements in the environment and soil for it to be best for growing things. We learned that without just one of those elements, the soil would not be of good quality. We needed worms!
The Gardening Class students helped Mr. Curtis begin composting, a process in which worms are a very important part. The students prepared the environment where the worms could thrive and perhaps multiply in time for planting season. They held the wiggly creatures and then added them to shredded newspaper, compostable garbage (worms love avocado peels) and some grass. Let the composting process begin.
As we continue to expand our STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) curriculum, we are excited for Wellness Wednesdays so that we can engage in hands-on lessons with Mr. Curtis learning about the the science of gardening.
Helen Siegel, Distinguished Educator, has been a teacher and administrator at Heilicher for 27 years.
After graduation, Heilicher alumna Simone P. encountered an uncomfortable situation at basketball camp. She decided to take a brave step to educate the camp about Jewish history related to an unintentional, yet offensive, long-standing camp practice.
New this year, on Monday mornings, we will have an All-School T’filah (prayer) service in the Dolly and Edward Fiterman Theatre. Our students will chant Torah each week. We’ll celebrate birthdays and milestones. And we’ll have a place to pray, whether that means working on our character, connecting with God, reflecting and/or rejoicing.
As a gift to her eighth-grade class for graduation, Ms. Weiss gathered student reflections and crafted them into a poem. These words of inspiration will stay with her students for years to come.