When the pandemic hit Canada in March, schools closed across the country, including Manitoba.
Schools and their staff were left scrambling to quickly co-ordinate work for students to take home for the next few weeks while waiting for the province of Manitoba to lift the State of Emergency.
No one would have guessed that students would not be returning until the fall. This created uncertainty for teachers and staff as to how to support the students through the rest of the school year and ensure their success to move forward when they return after more than three months away from the classroom.
Dauphin Co-op has worked with Whitmore School over the last few years with a number of initiatives to support the school including celebrating Canada's Ag Day at the school to teach how the food goes from the field to the fork. See more here
The principal, Lesia Jensen, leads a wonderful group of dedicated teachers and support staff that go out of their way to ensure the students have every opportunity to learn and develop into responsible citizens, that care about the environment, their community and others.
Initially, we had planned to partner with one of our garden seed suppliers to donate seeds for the community garden at Whitmore School this spring and the students were going to grow some of the seeds in the classroom as part of their curriculum. Since the pandemic caused a disruption to in-class learning, Lesia and her team quickly decided to go ahead with the plans and send planting kits home with the students in their homework packages to watch the seedlings grow and then plant them in their own yards or plant them in the community garden at the school.
The students will be able to enjoy learning about the growth process and eat the produce in the summer from their efforts.
Many thanks to Mackenzie Seeds, our supplier at Dauphin Co-op Food Store for supplying 170 packets of seeds including, lettuce, beans, peas, carrots, corn, pumpkins and more. We were very happy to donate several bags of soil to plant the seeds in.
We are really proud to be a part of this project for the school, students and the neighbourhood. The community garden is maintained by students and staff through the summer as well as community members as everyone comes together to "grow some good". Everyone in the neighbourhood is welcome to some fresh produce at the school's community garden.