Empowering learners and leaders who are kind, respectful, and determined.

April Newsletter

Dear Dutch Creek Community,

I hope this letter finds you all in great spirits after a wonderfully sunny weekend. We are excited to welcome students back after spring break and are thankful to have a little more time this school year to foster growth, knowledge, and a continued sense of community and belonging in our students. Springtime at Dutch Creek is a wonderful time to reflect on how we can positively impact our community. I am inspired by a philosophy from Reggio Emilia Schools that states, “Students are not learning to be citizens someday. They are citizens now.” Whether it is our fifth-graders who are studying athletes who have used their platform to create social change or our kindergarten students who are learning about trees and our environment, our students are citizens who impact our community. Among many community celebrations, I am excited to share two unique service projects that we are focusing on this Spring.

The Treasure Cove (Dutch Creek Pantry)

This amazing “cove” is a pantry for all in our community. It is stocked with donations that include food, hygiene products, coats, clothing, supplies, and much more. It is a place where people can shop and get what they need when they need it. While we are remodeling a bit, we are open for business! 

To help bring attention to the Treasure Cove, we will have the external door open at dismissal on Mondays and Tuesdays for the remainder of the year. The door is located in the front of the building on the west side. At this point in the year, we are trying to get rid of all food for the summer, so please don’t hesitate to swing by!

If you would like to contribute to our pantry, please contact Kristen Harkness at [email protected]

Community Garden

One year ago, it was the vision of our 5th-grade students and PTSA to have a community garden at Dutch Creek. After raising funds, being awarded a grant, and partnering with Jovial Concepts, a company driven by sustainability, we are ready to get this garden up and running. While it seems like a year is a long time to get a garden going, it is important to note that this has been no small feat. We needed to find the perfect location for garden beds, get underground water to the garden area, fencing, and the beds themselves. Now that we have much of that in place, we are ready to envision what a community garden at Dutch Creek will be like. I would like to introduce and say a special thank you to Amber Robbins. She is a newer community member with two students at Dutch Creek and has graciously taken the lead on this garden. We have had many volunteers help us to get to this point, and we will need many more, but having her leadership is a true gift. A school is a busy, busy place and I am super grateful for this support. 

At this point, we are planning what will be planted in each garden bed and how students will be involved in the planting and maintaining of the beds. We will be meeting midway through April to make decisions and begin to carry out our vision of this garden.  We also have plans to create a memorial as a part of this garden in honor of Missi Jenovai, a teacher near and dear to our hearts. In the end, this garden will be a place for all in our community. Stay tuned for more about this exciting project.

Community service isn’t just about helping others; it’s about personal growth and character development. Through their focus on contributing to a better world, students are learning empathy, compassion, grit, and maybe most importantly, empowerment. They are empowered to know they have the skills to make our community what they want it to be. 

As always, thank you for sharing your students with us. Happy Spring! 

Sara Oliver

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