Dear Editor – Growing Great with CCEF

Dear Editor,

I had the pleasure of being PTA president at El Marino Language school for the last 2 years. When I began I had one mission in mind for our school— a beautiful veggie garden that the kids could use as a “classroom” to learn and to enjoy.

Thanks to CCEF we were able to start by bringing the Growing Great classroom program to school. This enabled us to teach grades 3-5 about the importance of eating healthy and how to read food labels, including ingredients lists. It also gave the kids a chance to try new foods they had never had. Each month we would share fresh produce from the local Farmer’s Market to all of the students during lunch. The kids tried things like radishes, grapefruits, homemade coleslaw, and much more!

That was great, but we still wanted our garden! Unfortunately, the space for the garden was occupied by a huge diseased ficus tree that was so far down on the district work order we worried that it wouldn’t get removed for years!

CCEF was already paying for our awesome Growing Great classroom lessons, but they really wanted to help us get our garden so we could bring the Growing Great garden program into our school as well. This program is forl grades k-5. Each grade has 2 plantings per year, and the plantings relate to what’s being taught in each class, for example: 4th graders would plant a Rancho garden relating to their mission project. 5th graders plant a Colonial garden relating to their studies of Colonial times!

Thanks to the help of CCEF we did it! They were instrumental in helping us get our space ready. We got our garden up and running and the kids have a blast in there!

We were even able to have a ‘Farmer’s Market’ with all our produce— earning over $400!

Now my daughter is in The Middle School and I see how much CCEF helps out there! Musical instruments, computers, the back gym; the list goes on and on.

Thank you CCEF! These are just some of the reasons I support you. I urge everyone in Culver City to join me.

Alisha Martin

The Actors' Gang

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