Grass.. Grass… Geeer-ass! A funny yet essential word that sounds weird to say out loud. With the word echoing in my mind, I imagine uniformed green fields of long and slender blades, bursting with chlorophyll and energy.
So, what exactly is grass?
“Great question” responds F.E.A.S.T teacher, Summer Wheldon, who devotes her day at Hall Fletcher Elementary School answering these types of philosophical questions for her energetic, young pupils. She is quite the dot-connector, and possesses a natural talent for teaching, building bridges and filling in the gaps for her students. Summer loves to connect her class to the Earth with hands-on gardening, tasting and feeling of brightly colored vegetables.
Summer is an integral part of a strong team of educators from the local non-profit FEAST. FEAST’s mission is to teach children of all ages and abilities to incorporate and prepare fresh vegetables into their daily living. Summers purpose in life is to teach critical and creative thinking skills to her students, integrating the important life cycles of nature in hopes to engage everyone more “non-linearly”. In a way, her goal is to take them back to their roots and ‘make that spark’! She wants to give them something they can mentally grasp, dive into and apply to everyday life. This is what the dynamic program FEAST brings to the table, and it is game changer. Planting seeds of health and hope into each child’s mind and body.
For the past few weeks, Summers classes have been enjoying the fruits of learning all sorts of Springtime lessons. One of their main projects right now is collaborating with Brother Wolf Animal Rescue in East Asheville. The main teaching being taught alongside the life-cycles of grass seed is also the importance of service to the community. The students are learning how and why grass is being grown, seeing the transformation of tiny seed sprouts growing into long, green blades of grass for baby bunnies to feast on!
Story by Jenn Eby, FEAST volunteer