End of the Season Party!

Well, this is a slightly bittersweet (and long, sorry!) post as yesterday marked the last garden Saturday of 2010.  However, we kept things light with a celebratory pizza-making party at the RLB Community Center, and I think it was a great success! (Pictures under “Favorites” in the Flickr account.)

On the agenda: pizza making, slideshow viewing, game playing, and the handing out of certificates.  Since the party was at the Community Center, about two blocks away from the garden where we usually are, Jesse and I headed out to make sure the kids remembered, and it wasn’t long before we amassed a group of about 10 regulars like Donnie, Trey, Mymai and Nicole – permission slips in hand.  By the end of the day though, there were probably around twenty kids in attendance.

To start, we made and decorated name labels to stick onto the certificates (to be handed out later).  Once we washed our hands, we split up into pairs to make our own mini pizzas (dough donated by Renato’s Pizza, of Swarthmore).  A little sauce, cheese, and toppings like onions, mushrooms, and zucchini, and they were ready for the oven!  We took a break to play some tag outside, and got some energy out before sitting down to watch the slideshow that KC put together.  It had pictures from the whole year – from laying out the bricks to form the raised beds, to the latest cooking experiment just two weeks ago.  Afterward, Yaeir led an appreciation game that involved putting stickers on people who helped you learn, or who you respected, etc.  Although it slowly dissolved into sticker craziness, I heard several (kid to kid) compliments ranging from “You helped me plant,” to “You taught me how to be a better defender [in basketball].”

Next came giving out the certificates in recognition of the kids’ hard work, dedication, and commitment to the garden project.  We tried to take a photo of each kid with their certificate (note: due to privacy concerns, we won’t be posting these online), and I was lucky to get all of them to sign one of my own at the end!

We finished up by eating the pizza, and talking about starting work again in January after winter break.  The big projects lying ahead are painting a mural on the shed, and holding cooking workshops in the community center before we can get started again in the garden.  Many hugs later, we cleared up and headed out.

We would like to thank everyone who has helped out this year with the Garden Project, whether it was by donating time, labor and/or materials.  Special thanks go out to the Ruth L. Bennett Residents Council, and the Chester Housing Authority for their constant support of the project.  We’re really looking forward to coming back in January and starting right where we left off.

See you then!

– N

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