Education

Middle School Garden Flourishes at Golda Och Academy

841b6912be3ecaa7910c_IMG_7881.jpg
841b6912be3ecaa7910c_IMG_7881.jpg

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Middle School students at Golda Och Academy were able to test their green thumbs this spring as part of a new gardening club.

Upper School Judaics teacher Rabbi Shira Johnston created a vegetable and flower garden with Middle School students that not only builds on the sixth grade Teva experience, but is also integrated into the environmental unit of the sixth grade Rabbinics curriculum.

“When the students are out in nature you see a different side of them,” said Rabbi Johnston. “They are calmer, more relaxed, and you see the creativity and soul of the person. It’s important for the students to be immersed in nature and have a hands-on experience that is not computer-based or restricted to an indoor classroom setting.”

Sign Up for E-News

The project also further enhances science and environmental studies lessons, teaching students how to test pH levels of the soil prior to planting along with educating them about water conservation.

Middle School Director Jamie Himmelstein, who was at the forefront of the idea for the garden, said she was looking for a unique program for the 6th, 7th and 8th grade students.

“Adding a garden at the Middle School allows students to expand upon their experience with the outdoor garden at the Lower School and see the process of growing food firsthand,” said Himmelstein. “Once the students return in the fall, they will have a chance to see the fruits of their labors.”

To prepare for the garden, the club researched the types of flowers and vegetables appropriate for the summer climate in this part of New Jersey. Once the selections were made, the group calculated the pH, nitrogen, potassium, potash, and calcium requirements for each plant. Students also researched the light and shade requirements for each flower and vegetable as well as space, depth and water needs.

In the spring, the club planted zinnias, sunflowers, milkweed (for butterflies), marigold, vincas, various tomatoes varieties, cucumbers, hot red peppers, sweet Hungarian peppers, rosemary, basil, chives and dill.

During the summer months, the garden is being cared for by GOA’s facilities and maintenance staff as well as Harbor Haven campers who are watering the garden as part of their summer camp program. 

The Middle School Garden was made possible by a generous grant from the Fund for Faculty Innovation and Excellence, created by GOA parents Elizabeth and Gerald Cohen, to award teachers with unique and cutting-edge plans for the classroom and provide them with the resources to put their plans into action. 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Livingston

Nutley High School Closes After Security Threat Friday

February 16, 2018

NUTLEY, NJ - The Essex County Sheriff's Office confirmed to TAPinto Nutley that the bomb disposal unit was parked in front of Nutley High School Friday afternoon.

Members of the Essex County Sheriff's Office are working with the Nutley Police Department as the investigation following the Instagram incident continues. The bomb disposal unit conducted a sweep of the school ...

How Do I Decide Which College to Attend?

Now that college acceptances are rolling in, how do I decide which to attend?

Your hard work in high school has paid off. You took your SAT/ACT exams, got the best grades you could, and filled out as many applications as you needed to. Acceptance letters are starting to come in and you need to make a decision on where you will go in the fall. It's hard to decide!! Here are some tips and ...

Paterson Firefighter Opens Up About Struggles, Urges Others not to Suffer in Silence

February 8, 2018

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - Not a week goes by when a tale of heroism and bravery on the part of firefighters is not told. For them, running into a burning building is as natural as running out of one is for the rest of us.

That became apparent again on Monday when members of the Paterson Fire Department responded to a fire at 268 Main Street, which led to the eventual total collapse of ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_8b56ef1b9860e2829bb1_teenagers_sitting_home-page-wlogo-750-500px

Sun, February 18, 10:00 AM

Estelle Finkel Center for Learning, Livingston

Estelle Finkel Center for Learning Presents ...

Education

Carousel_image_8b56ef1b9860e2829bb1_teenagers_sitting_home-page-wlogo-750-500px

Wed, February 21, 10:00 AM

Estelle Finkel Center for Learning, Livingston

Estelle Finkel Center for Learning Presents ...

Education

Wed, February 21, 6:00 PM

Livingston Public Library, Livingston

Free CASA Essex Volunteer Information Session

Giving Back Law & Justice

Livingston Public Library Prepares for NJ Makers Day

February 12, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — The Livingston Public Library will host its third annual Makers Day on Saturday, March 10. Last year, 350 people attended Livingston Library’s Makers Day and enjoyed a variety of interactive activities ranging from sewing and paper crafts to robotics and circuitry.

Makers Day is a statewide initiative designed to celebrate, promote and introduce ...

Let the Games Begin

I am truly awed by the Olympics.  Watching these superb young athletes on TV inspires me to renew my membership to the gym and pursue my lifelong dream of taking home the gold.  

 

The problem is that in my deluded head, I can see actually see myself standing atop the podium.  I am wrapped in a puffy designer ski coat with a huge piece of bling slung around my neck ...

In the Driver's Seat

Honey, I am going to take the Roadster out for a quick spin around the sun. I’ll be back in a few million years.

 

That’s nice dear. While you are out, could you pick up a gallon of milk?

 

In what has to be the greatest road trip of all time and space, Elon Musk, the visionary inventor, engineer, and billionaire investor loaded his very own red Tesla ...