BY AMANDA MOSES
This week, the Spring Creek After School Program officially began virtual classes with their students. One of the segments the children will be learning about is “Seeds to Grow” with Garden Educator, Jacqui Roytman.
Roytman began her first session explaining why flowers are important. In doing so, she introduced a children’s book entitled, “The Reason for Flowers” by Ruth Heller. The colorful story showcases various types of flowers such as, sunflowers and tulips. Adjacent to these flowers are pollinators: birds, bats, bees, and butterflies.
In order to demonstrate how pollination occurs, Roytman drew the anatomy of a flower for the students: the petal, stamen, and pistol. The petal is the most recognizable and within the flower is the stamen (consider the male part) and the carpel or pistol (female part). Pollinators are insects and animals that help transfer pollen from the stamen to the pistol, and sometimes this happens within the same plant or it could be placed inside of another one. Now the flower is able to grow seeds. “The reason for a flower, even weeds, is to manufacture seeds,” Roytman exclaimed.
The Spring Creek Recreational Fund’s (SCRF) Urban Garden Classroom (UGC) is an example of a pollinator garden because it at-tracts these insects with its natural flora and allows them to spread pollen all around the community. Gardens like the UGC are important because they help reintroduce natural flowers, perennials and other plants to the environment, they permit pollinators to play crucial roles in helping plant reproduction (which provides food sources for both people and plants), and they help maintain the community’s eco-system.
The students and group leaders shared with Roytman what their favorite flowers were. Ms. Alicia adores sunflowers, which can come in many colors aside from yellow. In fact, Roytman stressed that flowers come in many shapes and sizes, but the parts of a flower are all the same.
Roytman showed the students step by step how to draw the anatomy of a flower, and then while they colored them in, she played a video entitled “The Beauty of Pollination: Moving Art.” The children were able to watch hummingbirds, bats, bees, and butterflies pollinate flowers in slow motions.
At the culmination of the class, she asked everyone what they enjoyed most. Group Leader Ms. Alicia said, “The aesthetic of today’s class with all of the colors, and I love how you broke down the parts of the flower piece by piece.”
Ms. LaShonda expressed her enjoyment with the lesson and showed the class the flower she drew stating, “I loved drawing the flower!”
Michelle Shkyar agreed with her group leaders and added, “I liked the colorful flowers in the video and the book!”
Screenshots by Amanda Moses