The Green Gazette

News from the GES PTA Environmental Committee

WOW Club Starting in March!

We are excited to announce that GES and the PTA Eco-Stars are sponsoring a new after-school group, the World of Wonder Club (WOW Club for short.) Starting in March, this student group will meet on Mondays twice a month to learn about nature, gardening and taking care of our environment. Students in the club will work in their own garden on campus, harvest and prepare herbs, propagate plants, make nature crafts, promote Earth Day and learn about our local environment from guest speakers.

Sign-up forms were sent home with all students last week. You can pick up an extra one in the information kiosk in the front hall. Be sure to submit the form to the front office by Friday, Feb. 12th.

If you would like to help with this club or have any questions, please contact Whitney Miers at

Teachers Vote on New WOW Features

In the fall and winter, GES teachers completed two surveys regarding new features and programs in the World of Wonder nature center. Here are the exciting highlights:

* About 85% percent of teachers would like students to have the opportunity to work in the garden during recess. (More on this below...)
* More than half of the teachers are willing to plant and care for vegetables in the raised beds.
* About 40% of the teachers would like to have more weather instruments in the center and would take responsibility for their upkeep.
* Most teachers would like to place the six moveable cedar benches for student seating in the grassy area of WOW next to the building. These benches were made by a local boy scout this fall.
* Most teachers would like to use the empty space between the 2nd and 3rd grade vegetable beds to create a circular bed for growing native wildflowers.

The teachers also provided lots of positive comments on their garden experiences and suggestions for how to make the best of their WOW visits. One thing that stood out was their appreciation of and need for parent volunteers. If you are already helping a class, thank you! If you have not yet had a chance, there will be lots of opportunities this spring. Just ask your child's teacher how you can help.

If you need help in getting started, or would like to work with our teachers to create one of the new features or programs mentioned above, please contact Mikaela Rood at

WOW Wednesdays

Over the last year, we have noticed how eager many children are to work in the nature center during recess. If the students see a volunteer in the garden, they will often come over and ask if there is something they can do to help. We think that working in the garden is a great way for the children to enjoy their free time outside, get exercise, and about feel proud about helping others. Working in the garden also offers an alternative to traditional recess games.

As mentioned above, our teachers would also like for the children to have this opportunity. As a pilot project this spring, we would like to launch "WOW Wednesdays" and offer children the chance to work in the garden each Wednesday.

Would you like to help with this program? Recess is only 30 minutes. You can sign up for just one grade's recess period or several. We will have a formal sign up process and rules for participating to help keep the program manageable. If you would like to help with this program, please contact Betsy Marsh at Thank you!

Science Curriculum Guide for K-5

To make it easier to plan garden lessons with our teachers, Mrs. Hilcher prepared a curriculum guide for science lessons this spring for grades K-5. If you are helping with a vegetable bed, or if you would simply like to help your child's teacher go outside for some lessons this spring, please refer to this guide to help in your planning.

Eco Stars Shutterfly Site

Do you have photos of students learning in the garden? We have created a Shutterfly site to share photos of our school garden, outdoor lessons, and programs sponsored by the PTA Environmental Committee. You can view the site at

If you would like to be added as a member of this site to upload your photos, please email Betsy at or request to be added as a member on the site. Thank you!

Students Soon Able to Eat School-Grown Veggies

Last week, we received news from Dr. Shiver, the Executive Director of Instructional Leadership with GCISD, that the district will soon distribute a document outlining best practices for cleaning and preparing school-grown vegetables as well as a permission form for parents to allow their children to eat vegetables and herbs grown at school. We are so excited that our children will soon have the opportunity to taste and and prepare their crops at school. Be on the look out for this permission form coming home with your student.