Stacy Perkins and the Dancing Moose Community Garden were featured in the Salt Lake Tribune
Community Gardens are growing in popularity across the nation. This new craze may be attributed to a number of unique advantages including the opportunity for community involvement and service, growing healthy, organic, delicious produce, and educating adults and children on the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
Dancing Moose children are delighted to see how seeds germinate and grow into plants. They enjoy watering plants and learning how they develop to produce beautiful fruits and vegetables. The best part of the process is the pure enjoyment that comes from eating the organic produce that promotes healthy growth and development.
These are all reasons that the Dancing Moose Community Garden was organized, and it continues to delight children and their families as they participate in the plant growing process. This is one of the important aspects of the Dancing Moose commitment to children’s healthy lifestyles.
PROBAR, a corporate leader of healthy food, is a partner in the Dancing Moose Garden and has a passion and belief for real, whole foods. Not only is PROBAR committed to real, quality whole foods for their product, they are committed to help provide that to their employees and those in the community as well. The partnership with the community garden has proved successful in sharing PROBAR’S passion for high quality, organic and delicious food.
Stacy grew up on a small farm in southern Idaho. Her love for the outdoors led her to graduate with her Environmental Science Degree from Southern Oregon University. Along the way, Stacy recognized a love for teaching and pursued her AMS credential from the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies in Boulder, Colorado. Stacy pursued her teaching career in Utah at Little Miner’s Montessori and Dancing Moose while enjoying the beautiful skiing, mountain biking and gardening Utah has to offer.
Dancing Moose approached Stacy in the fall of 2010 to be an integral part in developing and designing a community garden. Stacy was thrilled at the prospect of combining her two loves: gardening and teaching. She jumped on board and spent countless volunteer hours building the framework of the garden and advising fellow gardeners on best practices using her Master Gardener credential. She has created a Montessori Garden Curriculum for students at Dancing Moose, and is thrilled to see the excitement of children as they plant, care, harvest, eat and enjoy organic food. Stacy continues as the Garden Director of Dancing Moose Community Garden and offers free garden workshops and advice to members.
Read the garden bylaws, fill out the garden application and submit the $50 annual fee to the front desk of Dancing Moose. Applications can also be emailed to Stacy Perkins at . Applications are subject to a lottery system for plots available. If your application is not chosen in the lottery than your application fee will be refunded and your name will be added to a wait list.
4 x 12 foot raised bed garden plot Garden Benefits include:
Workdays will be every third Saturday from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm following workshops. Families are invited to work together.
Children have flourished in their Immersion classrooms that were initiated in the fall of 2011, and our upcoming academic year will continue full time Spanish and Mandarin Immersion as part of a Dual Language classrooms. Two teachers will alternate teaching core curriculum in each language, providing the perfect opportunity for children to excel in both languages as they learn from a teacher whose first language is English and a second teacher whose first language is Spanish or Mandarin. Ample research indicates that cognitive advantages occur beyond language acquisition to excelling in critical and creative thinking skills across multiple subject areas.
The majority of children in the Kindergarten Dual language classroom speak English as a first language. The primary academic goal will be to support Kindergarten core objectives in English and supplement activities in Spanish or Mandarin on a daily basis. Children will work on class activities in both their second language and English; one teacher will speak in English and the other will speak primarily Spanish or Mandarin in the classroom; language arts and mathematics instructional materials will be available in both English and the second language.
Dancing Moose is not introducing a new concept with its Dual Language classroom, but it is certainly taking advantage of the momentum of quality programs around the country that are capitalizing on children’s enhanced creativity and analytical thinking in a Dual Language program. Virginia P. Collier and Wayne P. Thomas, noted researchers in Dual Language programs, have documented that children exposed to a second language learn at a more rapid rate. Bilingual researcher Ellen Bialystok of York University in Toronto stated that “several studies have linked bilingualism to improved working memory, which is associated with reading and math skills.”
In research conducted at Nanjing University in China, bilingual seven-year-old children outperformed their monolingual peers on two working memory tests—one requiring them to recall and rearrange a series of numbers and the other to retrace a pattern of hops made my an animated frog on a computer screen. Researchers say that the best way to become proficient in a second language is to start young and practice often (Scientific American Mind, July/August, 2011).
Kindergarten is an ideal time for children to begin to experience the advantages of Dual Language instruction, and we look forward to continuing our Dual Language Classrooms at Dancing Moose this fall.