Photos and Story by Lisa Carolin
Just a day after spring began, the preschoolers from Chelsea Community Preschool met up with some of the seniors at the Chelsea Senior Center to read about plants and actually do some planting in the Intergenerational Garden.
“The 4-year-olds have been learning about different parts of the plant, how the plant gets nourishment, and how we benefit from nutritious plants as part of a healthy diet,” said Lisa Nickel, director of Special Education and Early Childhood for the Chelsea School District.
“Our students have a great partnership with the Senior Center, and the Intergenerational Garden is just a piece of that partnership,” she said.
Fortunately, on what was a chilly March day, the planting took place inside the Intergenerational Garden’s hoop house, which stays warmer than the outdoors.
“The preschoolers get to plant, harvest, and taste fruits and vegetables,” said Nickel. “We encourage families to stop in at the garden all summer long.”
It’s convenient that the preschool, senior center, and the Intergenerational Garden are all located at the Washington Street Education Center.
Some Senior Center members read books to the preschoolers to incorporate literacy with gardening for March is Reading Month. Titles included “Eating the Alphabet”, “The Tiny Seed”, and “The Good Brown Earth”.
“I think having our students participate in activities with the seniors is a great experience for both groups,” said Nickel. “Learning shouldn’t stop at a certain age. Plus, for some of our students, grandparents may not live close by or have already passed away, so this allows them to still have a grandparent experience and share the wisdom that comes along with having lived a long time.”