The Ann Arbor Branch of the Woman’s National Farm and Garden Association has given Starr Commonwealth a grant of $1,000 that will be used towards purchasing plants, seeds, gardening tools and supplies this spring. The community garden at Starr has always been an important part of life and learning, and we are proud to have received this grant again.
Beauty is a Silent Teacher
Floyd Starr believed that, “Beauty is a silent teacher,” especially for Starr’s students who have suffered from the effects of abuse and neglect, substance abuse and delinquency. Starr’s garden project plays an integral role in this philosophy as students learn not only the science of growing plants, but the nurturing and care needed for their gardens to thrive.
For more than a decade, Starr has, in collaboration with the Calhoun Intermediate School District (CISD), developed a formal garden program that was incorporated into the educational curriculum at Starr Commonwealth. The purpose of Starr’s garden is to teach youth about science, agriculture, health, nutrition, origins of food, and cooking.
To do this, Starr’s residential youth tend and care for the community garden, providing all of the maintenance and upkeep required to harvest fruits and vegetables. Additional raised salad garden beds at each cottage teach students about sustainable food sources by using home-grown vegetables to compliment their snacks and meals.
Through the garden project, students learn about commitment, patience, responsibility, and positive decision-making – all of which further Starr’s goal of “helping children achieve lasting improvements in values and the development of skills which help them succeed long-term in society and in life.”