Spring Creek Sun (SCS): What intrigued you about this position?
Jacqui Roytman (JR): I want to help encourage appreciation for sustainable urban agriculture and healthy lifestyle choices for students, teachers, and families in our community.
SCS: How has your background prepared you for this role?
JR: I bring over 25 years of teaching experience along with my passion for urban agriculture
SCS: What grade students will you be working with in the SCRF Urban Garden Classroom (UGC) and in the Aquaponic Garden Classroom?
JR: We are working with the students in the elementary and middle schools, both outside in the Urban Garden Classroom (UGC) and inside in the Aquaponic Garden Classroom lab which houses both aquaponics and hydroponic growing systems. I will be working alongside the science teachers and acting as an enrichment program that will reinforce the STEM curriculum by hands on learning activities. Our work is starting with the 4th grade science classes, outside in the UGC for fall gardening program.
SCS: Do you have a curriculum to follow or are you creating your own?
JR: The curriculum is originating from the Life Lab Garden Curriculum. The Life Lab curriculum has cross mapped every lesson in the Growing Classroom with the new Common Core Math and Language Arts standards and Next Generation Science standards being rolled out in schools across the country. Our classes will reflect this as well. I am also collaborating with the science teachers in the planning stages of my lesson plans. Life Lab cultivates children’s love of learning, healthy food and nature through garden based education.
SCS: How often will you be working with the students in the garden and in the Aquaponics Garden Classroom?
JR: We will be working with the students three times a week.
SCS: What types of vegetables do you plan to harvest?
JR: We will be harvesting, sweet potatoes, collard greens, bok choy, beans, lufa, tomatoes, carrots and pumpkins/squash.
SCS: Tell us about the Aquaponic Garden Classroom?
JR: Hydroponics is basically growing without soil. So that’s what we are going to be doing in the lab. Starting from the beginning, germination, students will work on all the steps and methods of the different types of hydroponic methods and harvest and eat their results.
In the next issue of the Spring Creek Sun, readers will get to meet Taliek Pinkney, Assistant Garden Educator Welcome SCRF’s new Garden Educator, Jacqui!
By: Pamela Stern
Photo Credit: Taliek Pinkney