Mary Ellen White, the third-grade science teacher at the school located on 695 Stevens Avenue in Portland, worked with her students on a “Garden to Table” project last spring. In April, the students planted a school garden that included radishes, carrots, parsnips, sunflowers and cabbage.
“Students went home for the summer wondering how the garden would grow,” said Mrs. White. “They were delighted to find sunflowers towering over the playground, and carrots and cabbages ready to harvest. It was amazing!”
After a school Mass on Friday, September 12, Fr. James LaFontaine, the pastor of Our Lady of Hope Parish in Portland, gathered around baskets of cabbage and carrots to bless them before they were brought to St. Vincent de Paul Soup Kitchen on Congress Street in Portland. Jenn DiRocco, the school’s lunch program coordinator, also taught the students how to make fresh coleslaw using some of the vegetables. The coleslaw was then served to the entire student body.
“In addition to learning about the life cycles of some plants, students felt great pride in being able to provide food both to our school community and to those in need in our community at large,” said Mrs. White.
“This, along with the other service projects done throughout the year at St. Brigid, provide the students with great insight on the many and sometimes very simple ways that they can make a difference in someone’s life,” said Mary Ann Russo, Director of Advancement at St. Brigid Catholic School.
by Dave Guthro, Communications Director for the Diocese of Portland