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devoted to community service...

Thursday, February 25, 2016
...is how I spent my day. After learning about an opportunity to attend a workshop that would provide information and education about growing organic gardens, I signed up to attend. Surprisingly, it was to take a place at a small neighborhood elementary school. There were several people there attending that I know from volunteering at the botanical gardens as a result of being involved in the Master Gardening program. As it turned it the class was aimed more at educators than growers. Designed to help teachers draw kids into nature, outdoor classroom, and develop an interest/love of growing things - both in the natural world, and as potential gardeners raising food crops.

The people who were instructing/leading the workshop were smart, well-informed, enthusiastic, energetic, knowledgeable and seemed very young - as well as thoroughly capable. In town for a Georgia Organics conference that is meeting locally over the weekend. It was really interesting, and I am glad I attended, hope that I will put some of that information to use as a volunteer with educational programs in our local botanical gardens.

Then I went out to do my little Thursday tutoring job with the third grade guy at Bethesda church. He is really sweet, but seriously struggling with basic reading skills. He had a library book we read today, about big machines. It is obvious he has learned to look at the illustrations in books to help him figure out what the book is about, but he tends to make up words instead of actually reading what is printed on the page. My guess is where ever he  started his education did not focus on phonics. So he really has a hard time sounding out unfamiliar words, and often substitutes/replaces the printed text with things he just guesses go on the page. This makes me sad for him, as I think of how he will likely always have difficulty in processing the printed words and understanding the meanings of what he is seeing. But also makes me very thankful that I can read and grasp meanings of what I see.

And after eating a delightfully greasy grilled cheese sandwich,  I went to a neighborhood meeting some locals planned to share info. about preparedness. What they think they will need when the grid goes down, and suggestions for how we should be getting ourselves ready for man-made disaster. They seem to be in a semi-survivalist mode, planning and packing gear to be ready for either getting home from some other location, or getting away form home when they feel the need to evacuate. I came home with a list of necessities: copies of important papers, medical supplies, food stuffs, water/food/camping gear. If I was not already paranoid before, now I am plenty. Loading up on energy bars, waterproof matches and MREs.

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