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Integrating staff and parents into a school garden

 
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Good morning and WELCOME Kaci Rae--Thank you for putting your work into book form and sharing it with other educators. I'm transitioning from a hands on art and permaculture educator for children and youth into a consulting kind of design position with local parents who wish to integrate permaculture education into their school curriculum. One of the first tasks we have is to present the overall vision of including permaculture education into not only the landscape (garden-farming) that makes up the school campus, but also the daily doings and integration into the staff, board and parental units experience. DO you have any suggestions on how to speak (beyond explaining the word permaculture) to the powers that be in a fairly traditional, newly birthed charter-school system?  I will wait to see if I'm lucky enough to 'win" a copy of your book, but will likely order several for the design collaborators as well.   Thank you for your good work.
Staff note (Nicole Alderman):

I split this off from Kaci Rae's "School Garden Curriculum" welcome thread. as it seemed to deserve it's own topic

 
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penny Krebiehl wrote:DO you have any suggestions on how to speak (beyond explaining the word permaculture) to the powers that be in a fairly traditional, newly birthed charter-school system?



Penny, this is a great question and I would like to open it up to the forum. What have you all seen succeed when promoting/advocating/presenting/introducing permaculture into a budding or established (school) community?

In my book, I explain how I teach permaculture-inspired concepts to children by using language such as "Care for Self, Care for Others, and Care for the Land." These principles are flexible for student learning and evolve with their growth, in the garden, classroom, or home. In fact, I don't even use the word "permaculture" or name its core principles until the middle school years. Rather, I embed these principles into the lessons and have the students engage with them regularly, without knowing what they are called. On a larger scale. this language also works well when it is tied to a school or community wellness initiative.

But how to communicate it with adults? Especially ones in positions of power? I'm wondering if there is an expert in your community you could call on to present, or co-present with you? Are there other adults/parents/staff that are interested too? In one school I worked at, the administration and staff were incredibly inspired by having a local educator come to speak to them about how he transformed his science and gardening program using permaculture practices--they started the gardening initiative that brought me in almost right away!

What other thoughts are there? What messages do others share about permaculture to a potentially unknowing group? How can these messages inspire community or administrative buy-in?
 
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