Godfrey-Lee — “It feels weird and squishy,” said preschooler Mya Martinez, with her hand in a small tin of mushy colored paper soaked with water.
Makayla Puff, a Great Start Readiness Program teacher at Godfrey-Lee Early Childhood Center, blended pink, yellow, blue and green paper with water into pulp for Maya and her classmates to make seed bombs. They rolled their wet balls of paper in wildflower seeds to plant and grow at home.
On the first 80-degree day in May, Godfrey-Lee’s youngest learners frolicked with their families outside on the soccer field.
The ECC’s five Great Start Readiness Program classes hosted a garden party to celebrate everything the students learned in their “Growing Our Garden” unit. Kent ISD’s GSRP is a state-funded preschool program with classrooms located in several district buildings and community-based organizations throughout the Grand Rapids area.
“We’ve done a number of events, but as part of our garden unit, we plan fun activities to bring the kids outside,” GSRP teacher Cara Glass said.
Following the theme of things found in a garden, the GSRP teachers organized a “dirt-cup” snack, where students could add their own cookie crumbles and gummy worms to pudding cups. Little learners also got to paint rocks and play outdoor games with their friends in other classes.
“We like to have a snack, a story element, something for them to take home and free play time,” Glass explained.
One of their GSRP teachers got a Donors Choose project funded that helped provide materials and refreshments for the event, Kent ISD Early Childhood specialist Amy Kerkstra said.
In preparation for the event, students also worked on their spelling and language skills with their teachers to write invitations for their families.
“Inviting their families to come was a key part of this event, “ Glass said. “We’re building community and skills (the students) will need for kindergarten.”
Her favorite part of the day: “Getting our kids out of the classroom and seeing them interact with their friends and family and building those relationships.”
Read more from Godfrey-Lee:
• A day just to play, without structure or screens
• Young, older students pair to celebrate bilingualism superpowers