The Mandel JCC’s Glantz Early Childhood Learning Center Welcomes a New Community Garden
BOYNTON BEACH, FL. (April 11, 2018) – The Glantz Early Childhood Learning Center at the Mandel JCC in Boynton Beach received a Service Learning Grant awarded by the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County in conjunction with the Friedman Commission for Jewish Education. The funds from this generous grant were allocated towards the start-up and maintenance of a “Community Garden” on campus. This project is bringing together the collaborative efforts of children, teachers, parents and grandparents.
Since embracing the natural environment is a significant Jewish value, it is a mitzvah to instill in the JCC’s young children a love and respect for the earth. Through active learning, the preschoolers are able to reap the harvest of their efforts by weeding and watering the garden and helping to prepare healthy snacks from what has been gathered. The pre-k classes have been journaling the progress of the garden from the onset, the 3 year- old groups created an amazing scarecrow and the two-year olds designed special name tags for the different fruits, herbs and vegetables. Even the young toddler groups have been using miniature watering cans to make sure the plants are not thirsty! A chance to visit and help in the community garden, where one bed has been designated for butterflies and the other for pizza ingredients, has become a very popular activity among the different age groups.
In conjunction with this service learning project, the preschoolers are also becoming aware of healthy eating habits by the use of felt board activities, books and discussions about “go” and “whoa” foods. The preschool is also incorporating the need to keep physically fit by providing activities that nurture the love of movement. “It is so gratifying to see different generations working together for a common goal and, at the same time, appreciate the wonders of nature. We are very fortunate that so many people are committed to and supportive of a project that will benefit the preschoolers as well as our Mandel JCC community,” said Betsy Mark, Curriculum Specialist at the Glantz Early Childhood Learning Center.
The community garden continues to motivate preschoolers to become constructivist learners, to have their families as engaged partners and to have environments that inspire inquiry and amazement.
The Mandel JCC, Boynton Beach is located at 8500 Jog Rd. For more information about this and other preschool programs, visit www.jcconline.com/preschool or call 561-732-7620.
The mission of the Mandel JCC of the Palm Beaches is to build community and enhance connection to Jewish life. The Mandel JCC is a partner agency of the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County.