Lynwood Elementary School students in grades 2nd through 5th experienced education outside the classroom by planting a fruit tree orchard at school on September 29th. The orchard is a partnership between the school, the Lynwood PTA and Common Vision, a nonprofit that visits low-income schools and helps them plant fruit trees on campuses, as well as educate students and staff on how to maintain and nurture agriculture.
Lynwood PTA President Gretchen Schubeck had been working with Michael Flynn, Executive Co-Director of Common Vision, for several months to bring Common Vision’s fruit tree tour to Lynwood, “It was so exciting to see our kids planting the trees and working together to create an amazing food resource for our school and community.” Students helped plant 20 fruit trees: two pomegranate, pineapple guava, and persimmon trees, one fig, pluot, plum, lemon, orange, loquat, passion fruit trees, as well as six different apple trees. The trees were carefully thought out so the trees produce fruit while school is in session; giving students the gratification of watching what they planted grow, as well as the opportunity to pick it fresh from the tree. The fruit will also be served as part of Lynwood’s lunch program.
Michael Flynn added, “The focus of having fruit-producing classrooms helps establish where the food comes from for the students, as well as a relationship with agriculture and healthy food.” The information intertwines with the curriculum being taught in grades second and fourth about in science and ecology, including plant parts and decomposition. Students get the run-down while digging in the dirt and planting with the 18 Common Vision volunteers. An Orchard Committee will also be working with Lynwood teachers on how to weave their lesson plans in with the newly planted trees.