edŸ-iŸ-ble  ed-Ÿu-ŸcaŸ-tion   /ˈedəbəl/  \ˌe-jə-ˈkā-shən\

NOUN: The practice of integrating organic gardening and fresh, seasonal and nutritious cooking into New York City’s public school educational curricula, culture and food environments to combat childhood obesity.

SYNONYM: Edible Schoolyard NYC


Closing Circle: ESYNYC garden lessons end with closing circle in the ramada. It is an opportunity to review each garden lesson, reinforcing links between academic content and the day’s experience in the garden.

Cold Frame:  A wooden planter box with clear lids used for season extension in the ESYNYC garden. It protects the plants inside from wind and snow, and keeps them from freezing. During the day the sun heats up the cold frame, then the soil and wooden sides help hold the heat and release it throughout the night.

Common Core State Standards: The new national benchmarks for student achievement in literacy and mathematics. Forty-five states, including New York, are in the process of adopting the Common Core standards to replace or supplement individual state standards. Every ESYNYC lesson teaches to at least one Common Core State Standard, and every lesson provides at least one standards-based extension for teachers to continue the lesson in the classroom.

Edible Academy: Our professional development workshops, piloted in three sessions in November 2012, in which we invite teachers and school administrators from across NYC to visit our Showcase Schools to experience our interdisciplinary, standards-based, K through 5 curriculum in action.

Experiential Learning: ESYNYC students learn by experience – our educational approach includes engaging their senses through hands-on inquiry in the garden and kitchen classroom.

Extension: A lesson or activity included at the end of every ESYNYC garden lesson, and based on that lesson, that can be continued in the classroom.

Hoop House: An large, unheated metal-framed structure covered in thin plastic film. We use it for season extension and for garden teaching in inclement weather. In the winter, we grow herbs and greens in the hoop house. In the summer, we grow heat-loving plants like cucumbers and tomatoes in the hoop house, which allows us to ripen and harvest fruit well into the fall.

Garden Activity: Every lesson also includes at least one garden activity, ideally related in some way to the academic topic of the month.

Inquiry Activity: Each garden lesson has at least one inquiry activity which introduces or re-enforces an academic topic related to the garden.

Opening Circle: All ESYNYC garden classes begin with an opening circle in the ramada, where teachers prepare the students for the lesson.

Place-based Education: Unlike conventional text and classroom-based education, place-based education engages students in their local communities, using their immediate surroundings as a foundation for learning. In garden and kitchen classroom lessons, ESYNYC students learn about their community through planting, cooking and eating local, seasonal produce. They become active community members by participating in Family Cooking Nights, our summer Farm Stand and community Garden Workdays.

Ramada: The signature gathering place in the Showcase School garden. Students gather for each opening circle and closing circle in the wooden, open-air ramada.

School Community: Not only the students and staff within the school building, but the families of students who are also introduced to the ESYNYC garden and our recipes, and the local businesses and neighborhood residents that support our program with donations or by purchasing from our farm stand.

Season Extension:  Lengthening the growing season. In spring we extend the planting season by starting seeds indoors, and protecting young transplants. Since we need most of our produce during the school year, and the growing season is mostly during the summer, season extension is very important in an Edible Schoolyard.

Showcase Expansion: ESYNYC is dedicated to establishing one Showcase School in each of the five boroughs. Following the 2013 opening of our Manhattan Showcase School in East Harlem, one school will be selected in the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island.

Showcase Program: At every Showcase School, ESYNYC builds an organic, four-season garden and kitchen classroom where our staff teach our interdisciplinary curriculum, provide family and community programming and training for teachers and principals throughout New York City.

Showcase School:  One public school in each of the five NYC boroughs will be a Showcase School. Since 2010, ESYNYC has operated its Brooklyn Showcase School at P.S. 216 in Gravesend. In 2013 ESYNYC is expanding to Harlem, establishing the Manhattan Showcase School at P.S. 7 Samuel Stern. Over the following years, ESYNYC will select and expand to one Showcase School in the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island.

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