A week ago our students took a school trip to Noggins Farm in Greenwich, Nova Scotia.
The weather couldn't have been any better.
The apple picking.
The historic tour through the farm land.
Carol. Oh Carol. Our wonderful farm guide, leader filled with kindness, knowledge, and remarkable patience and leadership. We asked her many times if we could take her back home with us.
The corn maze.
The picnic lunch.
The exploratory play grounds.
The parents. The parents! We had so many parents join us - it was like a family get together. To see so much support and smiles was heartwarming, to say the least.
Aside from all of these memories made, we were most impressed with our students. Their respect and enthusiasm set the bar high for field trips to come.
The knowledge our students, teachers, and families gained from walking through the back farm lands; the real life experience of leading, role modelling, listening, problem solving, and working together; the hands on learning of apple picking and life on the farm; and, the critical thinking and questioning throughout the tour - it was heartwarming to see our students engaged in the community in a positive way.
The discussions that followed included everything from Acadians, Mi'gmaq, Ice Age, Maritime Industries, government, buying local, entrepreneurship, traditions, cooking, baking, trees, culture - even Celtic music! So many talking and learning points from a trip to the farm. There is no learning quite like a field trip. It's is, hands down (or hands-on!?) the best way to experience learning.
Thank you Noggins for the experience, guidance, knowledge, and memories. Thank you parents for joining us and allowing us to plan this trip with your child in mind. Thank you students for the upmost amazing behaviour on a school trip, respecting everyone and everything around us, and for soaking up all of the wonderfulness that is Noggins. Thank you to our communities for supporting local farms and organizations that can teach growing generations so much about the world they're growing up in, a world we expect them to carry on and make changes for the better.
We leave with a series of pictures that capture our day at the farm and discussions that followed. Grades Pre-K to grade 9 contributed a small token of artwork for this blog post to show you a few things they were thinking about post-farm trip. Hope you enjoy!
And yes, the apple crisp was very, very good! For the recipe, see below!
⅔ cup whole wheat flour
1 ½ cup rolled oats
⅔ cup coconut sugar
½ cup coconut oil
1-2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
8 cups of apples
⅔ cup of coconut sugar
4 tsp lemon juice
Pre-heat oven to 350℉.
In a bowl, mix flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon, and coconut oil together until crumbly.
Core, peel and slice apples. In a bowl toss apples with lemon juice and sugar. Pour apples into a 9x13in pan. Sprinkle oat mixture evenly over top of apples.
Bake for 35 minutes or until apple mixture is bubbly and topping is golden brown.
Please welcome another wonderful post by our Master Gardener Colleen Alexandra. She has been a great help in starting Via Vita Academy's garden and establishing a love for the outdoors for our students. Enjoy the read!
It was late August and while many of us were thinking about harvesting and putting our gardens to bed for the winter, Via Vita Academy was in garden start-up mode.
I enjoyed the wonderful meal and the opportunity to meet the families and students who came out to participate in preparing for a new school garden.
Bellies full, we headed out to the garden area. Our task list included staking out and leveling areas for new raised beds, identifying an area for a grassy play area and general weeding and tidying.
Enthusiastic helpers picked up tools and got to work without prompting! It was a pleasure to watch how each child approached the work. Some stayed close to mom while others ventured off independently to learn how a landscapers measuring reel worked or to pound in wooden stakes. Older students explored nature with younger ones while others found the blackberry patch and spent some time berry picking and feasting. It was a happy mix of work and play!
With the school year now in full swing, the garden will become an integral part of the curriculum at Via Vita Academy. Already, students are planting, watering, composting, and maintaining the garden - experiencing hands-on learning that will stay with them for years to come.
It's go time! With just one week left, we have been busy getting everything ready. The classrooms are painted, the backyard is mowed, the garden is prepped, and the supply rooms are filled to the brim!
As we sit here for a moment and reflect on the past 8 months, from the first day we announced the opening of Via Vita - the surprise and words of support we first received, the various tours and meetings with families, the open houses and community events. We can recall each parent get together, the conversations, the excitement - it's humbling to realize that we have done it! We have opened a school. And not just any school, but a school that encompasses everything we believe education should be, together with a fantastic group of people. We've found amazing families who are on board and working with us to build a school we all dream of.
A thank you is in order.
A BIG thank you.
So please, let us offer our sincerest thanks to you. YOU are apart of those who supported us along the way. The comments and words of advice, the messages, the emails, the look of genuine shock when you asked what we've been up to lately and we causally say, "well, we're opening a school."
The social media shares, the generous volunteers we've been so grateful to have, the time and effort put into every detail. The connections we've made this past year, the programmers working with us, the groups and organizations who are now connected with us for the long haul. And mostly, those who are apart of this whether they signed up for it or not, but are no doubt our biggest supporters - our families and friends. We wouldn't be here, days away from opening our doors to families and students, without you and everything you've done You have all played a key role in shaping this school. You have helped shape the foundation for what this school means. Thank you.
We hope you'll stick around to see what comes next. The journey continues now into the next chapter as students being to walk our halls and learning takes place at the forefront. We are eager to get the year started! We're sure you're interested to see what comes next!
This is what dreams are made of - moments like these. Thank you, thank you, everyone.
We wish everyone a wonderful start to your new school year, near and far!
Let the school year begin!
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Each post is written by a supportive member of Via Vita Academy, be it a teacher, parent, student, community member, who is invested in the topic of education. Take a read and comment below!