A Meeting with the Parents and the Harvesting of the Garden

A group of involved parents, students, and teachers met at the Collége des Savoirs school to allow the teachers to show the parents what has been going on at the school during the past few months.  These parents, students, and teachers have given their group the nickname of “Noyau” to symbolize their commitment with the school, that includes their frequent assistance with the Students’ Learning Gardens and their dedicated participation in parent-teacher meetings.  This meeting began with the Garden Supervisor showing the group the progress in the composter.  They talked about how in the near future, more waste is going to be added to one compartment and the old waste will be transferred to a second compartment to continue decomposing. 

 Noyau students and Noyau parents meet with the Garden Supervisor to talk about the progress with the composter

Noyau students and Noyau parents meet with the Garden Supervisor to talk about the progress with the composter

After this, parents were invited to sit in on a lesson about decimals, fractions, and percentages.  This lesson was taught using grids drawn in the sand to represent the sale of vegetables. For example, 100 Congolese francs represents the 100 squares drawn in the sand.  After this, students and parents engaged in an activity that made the students ask ten yes/no questions to various people and present their findings using fractions, decimals, and percentages.  At the end of the lesson, the students and parents were split into two teams and by only using gestures given by their team, one member of each team had to guess a word the teacher had written on the board behind them.  The students really enjoyed this game.

 Noyau teachers and students enjoy a lesson about fractions, decimals, and percentages outside while the Noyau parents listen

Noyau teachers and students enjoy a lesson about fractions, decimals, and percentages outside while the Noyau parents listen

After this lesson, the Noyau worked together to harvest a portion of the garden and collaborate on how to use the garden in the near future.  Since the dry season is approaching for the DRC, a suggestion was made to plant tomatoes, spikes, spinach, sorrel and amaranths, as these plants grow better during the dry season than other crops. 

 Students harvest the last of the raised beds in preparation for the next round of planting seeds

Students harvest the last of the raised beds in preparation for the next round of planting seeds

The involvement of the parents with the school helps improve the quality of education that the students are receiving.  The teachers are constantly learning about new teaching methods for the Teacher Learning Circles that impress the parents and improve their work with their students.  With the introduction of the raised planting beds, students are more involved with their school and learning many ways to improve their future.