Teacher Appreciation Day at the Virginia Robinson Gardens

On Saturday, October 15, 2022, the Friends of Robinson Gardens opened its doors to welcome our wonderful teachers and invaluable docents who have been deeply involved in our FRoG Children’s Science Outreach Program.  To show our appreciation, we invited them for a luncheon and a walk through our beautiful gardens that were the inspiration for our three science units… Nutrition and a Healthy You…Plants and Our World… The Ecosystem of a Pond and a Frog’s Life.

During Covid, Leslie Kavanaugh, Kerstin Royce, and Patti Reinstein conceived the idea to devise a program that the students could do at home, at school, on Zoom with their teachers, and when possible, with parental involvement.  Leslie and Patti wrote each unit with all of the exquisite artwork being donated by our special friends Stephen Kamifuji and his son Sean.  Kerstin is the point person to contact LAUSD Title l schools to inspire teachers of grades 3-4 to participate in this free science program.  She arranges for our packing days when we meet the docents in our “garage/office” and prepare the boxes to be sent to each school.  Thanks to our volunteers, docents, and curator April Walton, to date we have sent our science programs to more than 5,000 students in Los Angeles.

In September, teachers choose a unit for their class. The unit is accompanied by two thumb drives…one to introduce them to our gardens and another on the subject of their unit of study.  Each child receives a notebook containing information about the subject along with a variety of fun activities to reinforce what they have learned.   For each student, there is a packet of essential items like crayons, colored pencils, sharpeners, scissors, and glue sticks.  We also include healthy snacks, Sam’s Super Salad book, coloring books, paints, seeds, planters, potting soil, games, salad bowls, tongs, healthy recipes, and replicas of the life cycle of a frog, depending on their chosen unit.  We are grateful for our teachers’ enthusiastic participation year after year.  Each of them is an Ambassador to get the word out and engage more teachers and students.

It really warmed our hearts when a teacher shared the story that her students had begun to read ingredients on food and drink packages in the stores.  It was especially rewarding to hear that the children were now looking for products with lower sugar content. Their favorite drink now is called “water.”

Due to our generous donors, we are able to continue this outreach program.   We are thrilled that our in-person field trips have resumed as well. Once again, the Friends of Robinson Gardens provide free bus transportation for the students so that teachers may bring the children to Robinson Gardens to enjoy the beauty and the bounty of this open-air classroom.

Post by Patti Reinstein
Photos by Kerstin Royce and Patti Reinstein
Friends of Robinson Gardens Board Members

2 Responses

  1. […] schools that were part of the outreach program. These teachers were invited to the Gardens for a thank you luncheon. The teachers were very enthusiastic about the program and its value to the children. We are […]

  2. […] children couldn’t come to VRG, these “three dynamic ladies with their energetic enthusiasm” created science kits and more than 7,000 have been sent out to grades 3-5 of Title 1 schools. It catapulted us “into a […]

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