Gardens, spiralizers, hikes, bugs, games, art and music filled our summer afternoons this June. Our typically mixed-age groups became even more mixed-age as children abandoned their homerooms and sorted themselves into four groups: Columbine, Pagosa Skyrocket, Larkspur and Indian Paintbrush. Each of these groups had students from each homeroom; allowing siblings to work together, kindergartners to mingle with second-graders, and friends across classes to spend in-school time together.
Students hunted for herbs in our school garden to add to their own zucchini noodle salad (“Are strawberries herbs?”) while others took garbage bags and gloves with them to collect trash on hikes (“We found 80 pieces of trash today!”). Trips to their off-campus garden allowed them to see their potato-planting progress and pull up stubborn weeds growing around their produce. On days we stayed behind, students worked on creating their own songs and art, practiced mindfulness through yoga, and learned the lessons of the Three Sisters who taught us about companion planting and storytelling. Along the way we recognized the skills, talents and compassion in our school community, which we shared and admired during these afternoon adventures.