Thursday, October 15, 2009

Excelling Tucson school kids open garden market

Borton kids grow in the school garden.

TUCSON -- TUSD’s Borton Primary Magnet Elementary School (PreK-2nd grade), on the south side in LD29, is proud to open the student-run A Fine, Fine Market today in the Bicycle Room at 10am. I'll be there.

This unique program recently garnered national attention on the Rachel Ray Show because the first and second graders plant, grow, and harvest the organic produce they sell. The elementary students compost matter that would otherwise be trash and they use it to improve the soil quality in their gardens. The students also care for the school’s egg-laying chickens. At the beginning of the year, the students apply for jobs at the market and they practice their math skills while selling their healthy produce. Borton students also recognize the importance of the larger community so they donate produce to the local food bank. The school garden was funded in large part by a grant from the Western Growers Association in association with the University of Arizona.

State Representatives Daniel Patterson and Matt Heinz will attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony, as well as State Senator Linda Lopez. Congressman Grijalva’s Deputy District Director Clara Ortiz will also be in attendance. Other elected officials have been invited and may attend, including Governor Brewer's Southern Arizona Director Tim Bee and Mayor Bob Walkup.

Borton students will be on hand to answer any questions customers might have about their store and about food groups. After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, market managers will gladly take customers and well-wishers on a tour of the school garden and chicken coop. Light refreshments will be served.

Features and Departments:
• Organic Market Produce
• Pint-sized Green Thumb Experts
• Sit-down eating area just west of the market
• Smiley Service; the typical market employee is missing a few front teeth.

Teacher Molly Reed applied for and received the Western Growers Association Grant. She built the chicken coop and garden with the help of Borton parents and other volunteers.

The Market philosophy is personal service. You will not see any automated grocery checkout aisles. Free smiles for the first 100,000 customers to come through the doors on October 15th!

View list of programs and awards received by Tucson's “Excelling” Borton Public School.

- adapted from Kristie Rabago.


Exurban Jon said...

Very cool! I hope some enterprising kids open one up in the Phoenix area.

Kristie said...

Daniel: Thank you so much for supporting our public schools. When people support public schools, great things happen in our community!

Kristie said...

Daniel: Thanks for all you do to support public schools. When people support public schools, great things happen in our community!