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School Spotlight: Washington Township School District

School Spotlight: Washington Township School District:

A special gardener collaboration began when the talented Stacie Paruta of the Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Team at Washington Township School District reached out to our Gardening Team at the start of this school year. Their district was looking to introduce a positive, empowering and insping SEL program to the students, staff and families of their Brass Castle and Port Colden elementary schools.

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Our journey together started in January with a presentation of our One-Click #PullYourWeeds® SEL Educator extension to their SEL Team to share with their teachers, offering tools for seamless SEL implementation in classrooms. The program included mindfulness activities, grounding exercises, classroom tools, activity sheets, and more, all centered around the You Are a Gardener® vocabulary and mindset. 

You Are a Gardener is an excellent program with a very strong message for students. Its creator, Shanna Truffini, is a pleasure to work with! She has developed a truly inspirational program around her children's book that covers any topic or activity that an educator could think of. If you work with her and this program, you will have everything you need. Shanna is passionate about her work and her message, and as a result, she is constantly updating and adding to her material. Furthermore, Shanna is very professional – she is prompt, responsive, and organized – and she knows how to adapt her message to all age levels. I highly recommend Shanna and the You Are a Gardener program!" ~ -Stacie Paruta SEL Team Washington Township School District

By early February, as we engaged with students in both schools at our first in-person #PullYourWeeds® Assembly, a strong gardener foundation had already been established. Our first assembly garnered great success, with their 500 students from kindergarten to 6th grade earning 5 Gardening Tool Badges.

In March, we extended our SEL program to families with an in-person presentation, demonstrating how they could easily implement the You Are a Gardener® mindset at home. Maintaining open communication among students, teachers, and families is extremely beneficial to the program's success and empowering children.

Our final program with the Washington Township School District concluded last week,  with a Gardener Culmination assembly in both of their schools. Our final #PullYourWeeds® Assembly featured a gardener’s mindset recap, a gratitude gardening tool, pulling the weeds of unkindness, core gardener values, fun and free ways to keep the program growing this summer, and concluded with a delightful guided drawing of our mascot, Foxie with our illustrator. The students and schools were recognized for their growth this year with oversized Certificates of Accomplishment, showcasing their tremendous efforts for digging into our programs.

teacher review of sel assembly school

The enthusiasm of students and the dedicated and compassionate staff at schools such as the Washington Township School District exemplify the positive influence schools can have on communities and the world. We are excited to be a part of its continued growth!

Washington Township School District, you are gardeners! Thank you for this amazing journey.

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Read more about our experience with the students, staff and families of the Washington Township School here!

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School Spotlight: Washington Township School District:


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