SARASOTA, Fla. – Temple Beth Sholom Schools’ (TBS Schools) two-week plant camp teaches children to plant, grow, harvest and cook the various culinary treats from the school’s over 20-bed garden.
The 12 children in this camp, which runs from June 16 through June 27, learn social skills, problem solving and how to follow directions. The youngsters range from 5 through 8 years of age – grades kindergarten through 3rd grade.
The garden produces everything from kale and collards to cotton and tomatoes. The plot is also sprinkled with herbs like basil and rosemary.
“The garden allows for a natural and organic evolution of problem solving,” said Shonna Brady, the plant camp teacher, who has been at TBS Schools for 16 years. “It’s a fun, real opportunity for the kids to learn outside and gain first-hand experience on what it takes to grow food.”
Testing out experiments, trying new things and discussing various topics like trash vs. compost fulfills their curiosity. For example, the children wanted to work at the hand-washing station but were wilting under the intense summer heat. The students’ solution was to vertically hang a blanket to shade the station so they could toil behind the screen.
Dov Blumenthal, a soon-to-be 12th grader at Sarasota High School, is a TBS Schools alumni who is getting community volunteer hours by helping in the garden since its inception.
Ed and Betty Rosenthal, who have three grandchildren at the school, started the gardening program through generous donations and contribute to the garden each year. This year, the couple has offered to purchase a canopy to give summer campers a sanctuary from the sun.
About TBS Schools
Temple Beth Sholom (TBS), a Sarasota preschool to 8th grade private school, is open to all faiths and established its preschool program in 1974. TBS Schools has been in its current building located at 1050 S. Tuttle Avenue, Sarasota, Fla. since January 1988. The Justin Lee Wiesner preschool program consists of classes for baby play and children up to 4 years of age. The Goldie Feldman Academy (GFA) was founded in 1992 as an expansion of the Justin Lee Wiesner Preschool. It has continued to grow and flourish under the careful guidance of the administration, dedicated teachers, volunteer leadership, staff and the demand for excellence from its parents. At GFA, TBS Schools nurtures the whole child as one who is capable of an infinite amount of possibilities. The caring and qualified staff is committed to helping each student reach his/her full potential. The Goldie Feldman Academy at Temple Beth Sholom is the only private Jewish school in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. Justin Lee Wiesner Preschool is accredited by Florida Kindergarten Council. Goldie Feldman Academy is accredited by the Florida Kindergarten Council and the Florida Council of Independent Schools. For more information, visit www.tbsschools.org.