What does reading and home-grown vegetables have in common?
On Monday evening, both will take front and center as part of Hallowell Elementary School's annual Fall for Reading event.
The program will offer the community a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how planting the seeds for enhanced education can yield a bountiful harvest.
Attendees can visit the school's 500-square-foot outdoor garden for hands-on activities, which, since its first harvest last school year, has evolved into a fun, yet educational atmosphere.
For this year's crops, Hallowell gym teacher Eric Glemser said students helped to grow swiss chard, peppers, zucchini, eggplant and more.
Hallowell’s vegetable garden, the very setting for Monday's event, is an active classroom for all students during the school year. All grades have assisted in growing and tending to its success, and the produce harvested from it will be offered as appetizers during the event.
Tami Eldridge, a reading specialist at Hallowell, said that whether by planting, weeding, or harvesting, students have demonstrated an increased curiosity in following the garden’s physical progress and the scientific reasons behind it, leading to a sense of accomplishment.
Similarly with reading, enhanced learning practices encourage students to read away from the desk and instead while walking, standing, or even balancing while seated on an exercise ball. Some of the stations will demonstrate how enhanced learning increases attention and retention of material read by students.
“Since reading is vital to the entire learning process, we thought it’s important to stress how effectively exercising the brain is accomplished through active and enhanced reading,” said Eldridge.
Other stations will include fun activities for children, guest readers, singer Wally Grumman, local business leaders, and emergency responders. While students absorb the stories, parents will be able to learn new reading strategies.
“Creating opportunities for parent involvement and showing parents how their children learn is incredibly supportive to the students and the teachers,” Eldridge said. “With events like this, parents can be more involved in students’ education outside of the classroom.”
If you go
Hallowell Elementary School's annual Fall for Reading event will be held on Monday at the school, 200 Maple Ave., in Horsham, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.