Mount Kisco, NY - For any kid, being let outside becomes an activity most looked forward to, one that could include anything from games and exercise to social interactions not seen indoors.
Twice a month through Alexandra Forrester, the children of Mount Kisco Elementary are instructed on interactions with their outdoor selves by placing nature comfortably in between. Forrester is considered the Master Gardener for Mount Kisco Elementary, one who incorporates the school garden into the curriculum.
Forresters curriculum began this school year with through the Bedford Garden Club, and she and her curriculum have not looked back. Her involvement incorporates science, math, and history, giving students a chance to learn outside the classroom.
Every class goes out to the garden twice a month. She instructs them and connects it to the curriculum, says Nancy Colangelo, the Elementary Consulting Teacher of Mount Kisco Elementary. If third grade is studying Native Americans, she has the three sister plants theyll plant in the garden. Shes so incredible.
A native of Pound Ridge, Forrester has an extensive background in gardening, as she worked as the manager of school programs at the New York Botanical Gardens. After moving to Miami for a time, she ventured back north and created Kaleidoscope Garden Designs LLC, a company that offers school communities a collection of gardening program services. Overall, she has 10 years of experience in the field.
The process of tending a garden is just as important as the fresh and nutritious plants harvested, Forrester explained, as student gardeners learn the value of patience, responsibility, teamwork, all the while being physically and actively involved.
Her services will soon be used throughout the Bedford Central School District, as she has had conversations with the district to be involved in the four other elementary school gardens. By spring, she is anticipating her work to be seen through the district.
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