The year is winding down for Zanewood Community School: A Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math School, and teachers and staff were eager to bring their school community together for STEAMfest. STEAMfest is an annual celebration for students to showcase their work and community partners to build relationships with families.
Katherine Dwyer, teacher and STEAM coordinator, watched students prepare for STEAMfest by presenting their projects to their peers. She was excited to see students light up when they showed their parents art projects, crayfish and ramps. She was also looking forward to the community presentations.
“It is really important to get the community involved and showcase what we are doing. We are really grateful to be a part of a STEAM magnet program, and we have so many special activities that go on throughout our school day,” said Dwyer.
Dre Wakely, environmental educator for Three Rivers Park District, has been a partner for the last three years. Three Rivers Park District visits the school at least once a week in the spring and fall to assist with projects and maintain relationships with students. During the winter months, students visit their site to do winter activities.
“It’s about being here and meeting kids. We started the garden during the pandemic, and all this food is being tended to by the students. They are out here doing all the watering and doing lessons like math and science in the garden. I know students are really proud of it,” shared Wakely.
Though the school year is coming to an end, the community garden is in peak season. The Three Rivers Park District and Zanewood Community School have continued to build more partnerships with the Zanewood Recreation Center to provide the freshly grown vegetables to the community.
“We are really grateful for our partnerships and nearly all of our community partners are here providing interactive activities for our families and for our scholars,” Dwyer concluded.