Friday, April 19, 2013

Family Garden Work Day on Sunday, April 28th

Our Spring School Wide Family Garden Morning is Sunday, April 28th from 11am-1pm at the garden, children are invited!  Please bring a picnic lunch to enjoy together after all our hard work and fun.
We are grateful for all your support raising funds for our work day plants,supplies and to prepare for Spring Fair! Your participation is crucial. The focus this spring is enrichment of the gardens offering to the senses.  We will work on transforming neglected areas, planting foundational shrubs and perennials, adding beneficial insects, spreading mulch, and all around support for our children's continued use of the land.  It is also a wonderful opportunity to get to spend a little time with your children's classmates, school friends and families from other classes

We will have the El Jardin book in the lobby waiting area starting this week.  Please feel free to take a look at some of the history and some of the specific projects coming up.  If you can sign up in the book in advance for a project, Woo hoo! That would be very useful in planning our time together.

We look forward to seeing you at our Garden Morning surrounded by green !
We thank you in advance.
The Garden committee

El Jardin Del Paraiso.
@311 east 4th street
between Ave B & C

Save the Date: Spring Fair 2013

Saturday, May 18th
9:30 am till 3 pm
Dear Families,
The sun is warm and when it hides the showers of rain fall upon us. Spring has come! This, of course, implies many changes for the children at our school: long stretches in the garden, late afternoons at the park, stomping in puddles, watching the bulbs in our window boxes starting to sprout, wondering aloud each morning, What color dresses have these root babies made for themselves? When will they grow? When will all the little buds dotting the tree branches uncurl their green?
It also means that the New Amsterdam Spring Fair is just around the corner!

What we've been up to:
The craft cooperative, the garden committee and the development committee and the teachers and staff have been hard at work creating, planning, plotting, crafting, felting, sewing, knitting, ordering supplies, organizing, building, moving, planting, etc. for this event. We are so excited by the budding of so many wonderful ideas and by the unfolding of so many beautiful items that the children will find at the event, and the items that will be available for sale at our first ever spring fair market!
How you can help:
The organization this year will be slightly different than it has been in years past. This year, each class will be assigned a “shift” to work the day of the event. Your class rep. will be instrumental in guiding you through this. In addition to this class work, there will be ample opportunity for additional volunteering, i.e.: baking, cooking, purchasing, setting up, cleaning up. Sign-Up boards will be posted in the foyer next week and if you have time to help out in addition to the requested 1½ hour time slot per family (keep in mind, this “shift” can be fulfilled by either parent or, if you choose, you may ask a babysitter or friend to fulfill the duty), please sign up! Whatever additional help you can offer will be tremendously appreciated.
Call for crafters:
If anybody feels inspired to try their hands at crafting, the craft cooperative will be meeting Thursdays 10-12, and most Tuesdays 9:30-11:30 (including next Tues, 4/23, check back for additional Tuesday dates). We would be delighted to have you. All are welcome!!! Come try a new thing, take home supplies, bring back wonders…
Remember, the spring fair is an event that the parents put on in honor of our children and our school. It is our chance to give back to the school, to offer a special thank you to our
 community: the children, the teachers, the staff, the board, the founders and one another. It is our showing of gratitude. Springtime always reminds me how much I have to be grateful for.

Springtime Impressions from El Jardin del Paraiso

"How beautiful!" from Miss Elea

How beautiful it is outside now with many colorful flowers blooming and wonderful springtime activity to observe.

Today on our walk we saw two large robins swooping and chasing each other up into trees and down into the grass, and just last week the children came running to Ms. Meaghan and I, full of excitement over a large garden snail that they had discovered in the wheelbarrow. They gently transported him to the lid of their "soup pot" (a large covered barrel), and gave him leaves and flower petals to climb on while they watched him feel his way along. A few days before, they turned over a large rock and were delighted and amazed to find a whole colony of ants busily making their way to and fro.

On Thursday we had another planting day (in place of our regular painting day) and I was touched to see how quietly and reverently the children watched and waited for a turn spooning soil into the peat pots and holding out a hand to receive a few tiny herb seeds to plant. One of the children really expressed the mood of the room when he sighed contentedly and said "I love planting, don't you?" Our little seeds have already begun to sprout and when they have grown strong enough, we will transplant them into our school plot at the garden, where they can receive rain and sunshine and continue growing until they are hopefully large enough to harvest over the summer!

This past Friday, when our garden time corresponded with a torrential downpour, the children happily formed a little line of friends and adventured together up and down the stone-lined pathway that winds like a creek down to the pond, replenishing it with fresh water in the summertime heat. One six-year-old boy from Ms. Greta's class took over the impressive task of building a slate bridge over a narrow place in the pond, and the others watched, fascinated by his strength and ingenuity. We watched the wind blowing the rain across the surface of the water in ripples while the fish swam underneath and the turtles hid deep in the mud, waiting for a warmer day to climb out onto logs and rocks to enjoy the sunshine.

For just a few short weeks each year, we are surrounded with color: purple hyacinth, pink hydrangea, dark pink and white cherry blossoms, yellow and gold forsythia and daffodils, sweet little purple pansies, and elegant red tulips. Already many blossoms are in full bloom and will soon give way to the fresh green leaves which are just beginning to come forth on the trees. How joyful it is to experience the glory of spring and to share it with children, and how grateful I am for springtime and the beauty of the earth in every season!

Garden Fundraiser Ends Tuesday!

We are still accepting your thoughtful donations for the clothing sale fundraiser and as it is honor system for purchases we hope you will come shop and make many purchases or just donate and give freely to beautify the space our children adore being in.  Last years fundraiser earned almost $700 for the garden, this year we need your help to top that… you can track our progress on how close we are to reaching our fundraising goals on the bulletin board and please remember the sale ends Tuesday, April 23rd and all clothing must go.