This post is especially close to my heart as I spent my three years of middle school attending this public institution. I was a Peterson Pirate! As I reflect back at my school experience it was similar to any other middle school experience. We attended class, sat, took tests, ate lunch (a very bad concoction of frozen pizza, etc… ), and bussed home. I do remember an especially engaging 6th grade science class where 4 students were chosen to participate in a “special project”, but that was only 4 students out of an entire class.
While perusing the Life Labs blog this morning I discovered something amazing that literally brought tears to my eyes and I called my mom immediately. Peterson has morphed into an incredible example of what a public school can do when they are dedicated. They have created close ties with Full Circle Farm, (the link is below) and have created a nature studies center behind their school, complete with multiple bird viewing areas, a marsh, a series of web cams, and nature area curriculum.
The Full Circle project, which is a very recent endeavor, is a big thanks to Democracy in action. The School Board was deciding what to do with the field behind Peterson Middle School and after much deliberation, decided to lease it to the farm. The farm has started an educational component and has created a very unique relationship with the Santa Clara School District. They are working with students of all ages, educating them in gardening, horticulture, and ecology, and helping them make healthy food choices that are free of pesticides and chemicals.
Please click below to visit the Full Circle Farms website or to view the story of the farm in the making: