Louise A. Spencer School serves inner city families in Newark, New Jersey. Attendance rates at Louise A. Spencer are the lowest of any school in Newark. Over time, parents and community members have become disenfranchised with the educational system. In an attempt to build the bridge between families and the school community, Louis A. Spencer Public School staff and students joined forces to create a community garden. “What started as a gardening project evolved into a collaboration of sustaining our community through improved nutrition, positive goals and recycling,” Rosemary Kita, Louise A. Spencer Teacher. Louise A. Spencer Newark Public School’s primary goal for last year’s grant was to assist students in becoming productive members of society, while protecting their ecosystem. Their target audiences were the students of Louise A. Spencer School and its community members. To achieve their goals Louise A. Spencer School created a composting area, expanded their vegetable gardens and made fresh produce available to local families. They then took it a step further by installing a freezer which allowed for free frozen milk to be kept and distributed to community members. Louise A. Spencer Newark Public School’s initiative impacted over 100 students, staff and community members ultimately planting the seed for a healthier, more united Newark.
This year, Louise A. Spencer will explore gardening techniques by creating a rain water collection for the vegetables and plants. Due to lead found in the water, Louise A. Spencer is making changes toward a healthier environment for their students. The rain collection system will eliminate lead tainted water as a source of nourishment and will enhance sustainability of the biosphere. We look forward to updating you on this and all of the other programs that are a part of their new initiative.