About the Project

What are our goals in initiating a greenhouse program at I-LES?

We hope to create a "Living Classroom" that provides students with an opportunity to learn in a hands-on, experiential manner.  The Living Classroom will allow teachers to teach differently and students to learn differently resulting in increased student investment in school and a growth in student achievement.  

How do we envision using the Living Classroom?

The Living Classroom will be used for a wide range of teaching and learning experiences that cut across all areas of the curriculum.  Reading, writing, math, scienc, and social studies lessons can all be taught in new and novel ways using the Living Classroom as a springboard for experiential education.

How many students will use the Living Classroom?

All PK-6 students will have the opportunity to use the Living Classroom.  It will be large enough to accommodate one classroom (approximately 20 students) at a time.

During which seasons do we hope to use the Living Classroom?  
Using solar technology (including subterranean heating), we hope to use the Living Classroom year round.

Who are resource people in the school experienced at indoor and/or greenhouse gardening?  In the community?  How much time can they commit to the project?

There are several staff members who are interested in, and actively engaged in gardening.  Local consultants/experts include Dean Anson (Master Gardener), Chris Read (local builder and gardener), and John Moulton, local large scale agricultural farmer.  Additionally, there are a number of "amateur" gardeners at
 I-LES who have expressed the desire to volunteer their time and expertise.

Who will be responsible for the technical aspects of greenhouse operation?

An I-LES teacher with the knowledge and aptitude for running the Living Classroom will have primary responsibility.  The staff member will have the support and expertise of our maintenance department as well as our outside consultants and our on-staff gardeners.  Tracey Pratt, a community volunteer, has offered to volunteer her time and serve as a liaison between the school and local community groups and organizations.

Might vandalism be a problem?  How can we guard against it?

We propose installing motion-activated lighting and a security camera in order to provide deterrence against possible vandalism.

How much will the project cost?

The grand total, including labor, is approximately $65,000.

What are the potential funding sources?

Federal and State Grants will be sought along with the acceptance of donations from local service groups and individual benefactors.