Please enjoy A Living Library: Cultivating the Human & Ecological Garden, a Presentation by Bonnie Ora Sherk, Founder & Director ofLife Frames, Inc. & A Living Library.
A Living Library itself is an art work—our founder, Bonnie Ora Sherk, has made her career by transforming public urban spaces into more human-friendly, ecological habitats. (See video of her talk at Mills College Art Museum in a previous blog post!)
Our A.L.L. Garden / Ecology / Multi-Arts / Literacy / Nutrition Teachers emphasize to students the importance of creating art and transforming our environment and ourselves through art. For instance, students learned about the usefulness of scientific illustration to communicate knowledge visually. A.L.L. Teacher, Cecilia Frisardi conducted a lesson at the OMI/Excelsior Living Library & Think Park in flower anatomy which included dissection and illustration.
Students dissecting and illustrating flowers (flowers were generously donated by J. Fregosi & Sons Florist)
Aaliyah, age 15
Sofia, age 12
We encourage children of all ages to tap into their creativity— A.L.L. Teacher Susan Meyer has been working with her younger students to create some installation pieces for the Upper Garden Orchard and Redwood Circle Learning Zones.
Teachers and students at A Living Library work every day to continually transform our environments into welcoming, enriching, and collaborative spaces.
Janna, age 12
- One thing I learned is how to pull out/dig up weed on the dirt. Another thing I learned, is pitch forking the compost with a turning pitch fork.
- The Hula Hoe is used for to dig down to plant a plant.
- The activity I enjoy most is, watering, because I love playing with water and using water for some reason.
- I chose a shovel that symbolizes the garden because the garden was started with a shovel to dig up dirt and plat the plat on the whole.
Jennifer, age 13
- I have learned how to plant trees and how to prune plants.
- My favorite tool in the garden is the pruner. The pruner is used to cut off the dead part of a plant
- My favorite activity that I have enjoyed was making the salad and chocolate dipped fruits. I enjoyed making the salad because I actually ate vegetables in a fun way. The chocolate dipped fruits were good so I enjoyed it.
- I think that the tree in the chill corner symbolizes the garden because we all like climbing on it and hanging out on it.
A Living Library is looking for awesome PreK-12 Garden / Ecology / Multi-Arts / Literacy / Nutrition Teachers in diverse locations, San Fransisco.
(Craigslist Post: http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/npo/5679602884.html)
This year-round position is a unique opportunity to work with a leading-edge, creative, environmental and educational nonprofit, Life Frames, Inc., dedicated to integrating community resources and creating transformative ecological and multicultural learning landscapes. Called A Living Library & Think Park, this program works with local schools and other community resources, to build on-site educational organic gardens and content-rich landscapes interlaced with other ecological elements, including the arts and digital technologies. A Living Library is linked to the curricula of the schools and animates all subjects through real-world experience. Students, together with adults, are involved in all aspects of the research, planning, design, implementation, use, maintenance, management and communications of the transformed learning environments and integrated community programs. (Life Frames, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer with a strong commitment to establishing a team of staff and volunteers who reflect the multicultural and linguistic diversity of the communities that we serve.)
Dynamic Teachers For Middle School & High School, plus PreK-5 Students: Organic Gardening / California Natives / Ecology / Multi- Arts / Technology / Literacy / Nutrition Teacher (part time)
The dynamic, inspired, and cheerful, outdoor educator will be leading groups of K-12 students and teachers, in hands-on learning and doing, in: organic & native gardening and tree planting, multi-arts including digital media, literacy and nutrition projects, as well as leading students in researching local ecology, history, watersheds, and existing local community, including its natural, multicultural, and built resources. You will be doing extensive student outreach & recruitment, attracting students for hands-on, learning programs, and leading gardening, related landscape, and arts activities as standards-based learning processes. You will be communicating about sustainability, ecological systems and native landscapes as well as performing community outreach activities with children and adults in ways that are fun, educational, and relevant. You will also help with some administration of program.
• The exceptional candidate must have at least a B.A. and knowledge of science, organic gardening, California native species, and the arts; digital media a plus ! MUST ALSO BE AN EXCELLENT GARDENER !
• Must have extensive experience teaching, including Elementary, Middle School, and High School students - working creatively and artistically with all learners with knowledge of Common Core Standards
• Must be excellent and have ease in managing and leading groups of students with good classroom management skills in an outdoor setting
• Must have a dynamic, outgoing personality and ability to attract middle school youth's participation in hands-on afterschool and summer program and captivate and hold young students' attention
• Must be an excellent organic gardener, tree planter, and landscaper with knowledge of botany, cycles of life, insects, natural pest management, companion planting, California Native species, plant communities, nutrition & health
• Knowledge about San Francisco ecology and watershed systems very important !
• Must have excellent communication, writing, research skills & experience with curriculum development; knowledge of state standards a plus
• Must have an evolved aesthetic/design sensibility; ability to draw well is fantastic and able to make attractive digital flyers a real win; carpentry skills are desired; digital media, video & other art skills a real plus!
• Bilingual Spanish, Tagalog, Cantonese, or Mandarin, a real plus !!!
• Must be creative, hard-working, strong with a can-do attitude, a self-starter, resourceful, flexible, team player, good team teacher, and able to also take direction from the Director
• Ability & willingness to do some administrative work and social media !
• Must be able to do physical gardening work and be able to lift 50 lbs
To find out more about A Living Library: please visit our blog: www.alivinglibrary.org Reply to the Founder & Director with cover letter & resume
Every year, our A.L.L. Garden / Ecology / Multi-Arts / Literacy / Nutrition Teachers work diligently to create a relevant, standards-based, interdisciplinary, and fun, hands-on curriculum for students (PreK-12) and teachers, that meets national and state standards and also helps to improve the local environment of each school and neighborhood. In San Francisco, our school programs are based at 7 SFUSD schools in OMI/Excelsior, Bernal Heights, and Chinatown. Combined at these schools we work with over 1000 children and youth each month in hands-on learning, beginning with the very young children to those in high school.
Our A.L.L. curriculum involves multiple aspects of A Living Library Framework that includes the local resources of each community: human, ecological, economic, historic, technological, and aesthetic - seen through the lens of time - past, present, future.
Yesterday, A.L.L. Teachers got together and had a great meeting about next school year's curriculum. Please enjoy some pics of our meeting!
If you have ideas and suggestions about A.L.L.'s curriculum, please let us know. Thank you for your creative ideas! Suggestions and questions can be submitted to A.L.L. at: email@example.com
As A Living Library Garden/Ecology/Multi-Arts/Nutrition/Health Teacher, I plan each lesson with an educational outcome in mind. For instance, last week I wanted the students to learn about different kinds of edible roots; we looked at examples of plants with “taproots,” like carrots, “tubers,” like potatoes, and “bulbs,” like onions and garlic. My goal is that each lesson in A Living Library Garden & Think Park at Juniperos Serra Elementary School has a hands-on component as well. For my root lesson, we started with a discussion and photos, and then planted potatoes and garlic in the garden. After I gave instructions and handed out garden tools, I was immediately met with opposition by three students in the class.
Hands on their hips, disgusted looks on their faces. “I don’t want to get my hands dirty!,” they exclaimed. “Me too,” another retorted, “I hate when I get dirt on my fingernails!”
I showed them my hands, thoroughly covered in dirt. “REAL gardeners” I explained, “get their hands dirty, we will wash out hands after garden class.” Then, I went to get the other students started on planting. Without much thought I turned around, and to my surprise the three “anti-dirty” students were hands deep in the soil, giggling and playing with a worm they had found. Minutes later I heard them enthusiastically call my name, “Ms. Kristin! Look at my hands,” smiling, they waved their soiled hands in my face, “I am a real gardener too!”
I love how quickly children are willing to change their minds. Adults are so set in their ways, myself included. We have steadfast opinions about what we like and don’t like, and we are not easily swayed otherwise. I think this trait can be detrimental, as we may miss out on new opportunities and experiences.
I would like to think that in five years, while my A Living Library Garden Students may not remember what a “taproot” or “tuber” is, they will have held on to the sensation of having their hands in the soil. They won’t be afraid to get their hands dirty, and they will dive into the opportunity to spend time amongst plants.
By Kristen DeRose