Northwest NEWS

July 13, 1998


Foundation grants create secret garden, more


A team of girls weeded their area in the secret garden.

   The Northshore Public Education Foundation (NPEF) mission is to increase student performance through sustained community participation. The Board is comprised of Northshore School District (NSD) parents, local business representatives and community leaders. Financial resources from teachers and NSD employees, parents and interested citizens of the Northshore community, support the Foundation to make grants for creative teaching and expanded learning opportunities.
   One of the 1997-1998 grant recipients was the Secret Garden at Woodin Elementary School.
   What used to be a dried up patch of grass is now the site of Woodin Elementary's Secret Garden. Wendy Eidbo and her class of third and fourth graders created a quiet spot just outside their classroom door where the kids can sit on benches to read.
   Using mostly donated plants, Eidbo worked with parents and students to create a garden that the students designed, planted and are taking care of.
   Teamwork is an essential element of this garden, as it is divided into zones, with four to five students responsible for each zone. Caring for the garden even includes taking turns hauling water from home over the summertime.
   One favorite element is the concrete stepping stone each group of students gets to create with their names embedded, at the end of the school year.
   Using rocks, marbles and glass, each child gets to create a permanent reminder of their participation. Eidbo believes the garden helps students feel connected to the school, and she often has older children stopping by to see how the garden is doing. Responsibility, community involvement and cooperation are among the skills the garden nurtures. This is an ongoing project, with new students getting involved each year.
   This year's award recipients of the Northshore Public Education Foundation Innovative Teaching Grants included: