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Learning sustainable life skills from Farm to Market

Town of Stillwater look out!! This year a summer school course that is 80 percent hands on and life application is introducing eight to 10 LaSalle students to urban agriculture and sustainable farming techniques at Stillwater’s Old World Farm. 20150714_110100

During the summer school session, students are traveling to the Saratoga County located farm, to spend four mornings learning about topics including food distribution patterns, the basics of plant propagation, raising healthy seedlings, the role of irrigation in farm systems, what shapes our ecosystem, and more. The farm is operated by a former – 30 year – culinary chef from the Albany City School District.

“Building self-reliant communities through Community Supported Agriculture farming encourages youth to take a personal responsibility for their careers and character development, build a sense of purpose and pride in what they can do, and provide our culinary classes and kitchens with fresh produce as a result of their labors,” said Culinary Science Teacher Lorraine Clarke. Open to all, the class is targeted to LaSalle high school students who need to earn the Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) certificate20150714_101231 required for graduation by the New York State Education Department.

Students are expected to create and maintain a portfolio of their experience throughout the course. Portfolios can range from simple reflective journaling to photographs of activities with verbal explanations. A rubrics and work readiness assessment checklist is being utilized, and the class will present a group multimedia presentation to the entire school body when classes resume in the fall. There is the potential for trips to Old World Farm in the fall to harvest crops.

LaSalle School is a leader in programs and services for youth and families in crisis offering a variety of programs designed to meet their needs including specialized residential placement, day service education, and alternative to detention services. The Counseling Center at LaSalle is an OMH licensed outpatient mental health clinic located at LaSalle School, and currently implementing ACE treatment practices with youth and families.


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