It Takes a Village

The old African proverb “It takes a village to raise a child” rings true for anyone in the field of education. At National Park School we are extremely fortunate to have the support of many “villagers”, especially that of councilwoman Annemarie Henry. The concept of a Community Garden specifically designed for the children of the borough all started with Mrs. Henry just twelve short months ago. And as we walked around the garden one steamy summer afternoon, surrounded by tomatoes, squash, peppers and more, it was exciting to note that her ideas have come to fruition. Mrs. Henry’s support has not only resulted in a thriving garden, it has also resulted in increased awareness regarding how vegetables grow and are harvested. Thanks to the support of National Park’s Mayor Mark Cooper and the Rutgers Cooperative Extension, Mrs. Henry has started a weekly Farm Stand where community members are able to support the garden by purchasing freshly grown vegetables every Saturday. Mrs. Henry uses this opportunity to teach the students about the garden, allowing them to personally harvest vegetables ready for the taking. Just this past weekend a 1st grade student stopped by anxious to check on her blue tomatoes. This excitement is a direct reflection of Mrs. Henry’s own excitement about the garden. Mrs. Henry also dedicates every Wednesday, 10:00am-1:00pm tending the garden as well as Sunday mornings starting at 9:00am. Volunteers are welcome to join her as we work together to support our growing children!

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