William W. Bodine High School for International Affairs

Over the previous 12 months:

Early on in the process, there was little enthusiasm for the project, and the ideas we, as teachers, were coming up with were dismissed out of hand by our administration. We had asked permission before starting the procedure, but we were denied support once we started. We were really frustrated at this point, and it seemed as if the process needed to be redesigned or that we needed to seek help from someone else.

We did not wait around for approval and decided to continue on with the project. We took a tour around Bodine looking for communal assets. We found a number of organizations that might be excellent partners for our project. Friends of Orkney Park and City Planter are both excellent partners for our food security effort.

The previous 2 months:

Students at Bodine were fed up with the administration and counselors in early April 2022, and decided to stage a demonstration against sexual harassment and the administration’s lack of visibility. The students asked that the administration meet with them for three days, but they did not. The principal, the disciplinarian, and two counselors were removed from the school due to various potential legal difficulties. Bodine, the network’s associate superintendent, came to the school to hold a town hall meeting and made various promises that have yet to be fulfilled. Students at Bodine were fed up with the administration and counselors in early April 2022, and decided to stage a demonstration against sexual harassment and the administration’s lack of visibility. The students asked that the administration meet with them for three days, but they did not. The principal, the disciplinarian, and two counselors were removed from the school due to various potential legal difficulties. Bodine, the network’s associate superintendent, came to the school to hold a town hall meeting and made various promises that have yet to be fulfilled.

About the project:

For their Education for Sustainability project, students from Bodine High School for International Affairs chose the problem of homelessness with a focus on food security. How can food security be ensured for low-income communities in food deserts, according to the research question? The project’s overall purpose is to establish community gardens in food desert areas and teach residents how to grow and cook their own healthy food. This project will begin on the grounds of Bodine High School and spread outward into the surrounding community. We’ve already enlisted the help of the thriving Bodine Gardening Club, which has over twenty members. The club has already started cleaning up the Bodine grounds, constructing planters and restoring weed-infested planting areas. The next step is to begin expanding beyond our school and into the immediate community. There is a vacant lot directly next to the school that we have received permission to use for farming (and bees!). This expansion will also engage organizations in our immediate school community including: The Norris Square neighborhood Project urban-agriculture and food-justice paid apprenticeship program for youth, City Planter and Orkney Park. We already have three students who have worked with The Norris Square neighborhood Project throughout this school year and will continue to do so into the summer and beyond.

This blog was cowritten with David Bungard and David Fischer.

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