You’re a child who just arrived in the U.S. from another country. You don’t know the language or the culture. But you do know how to dig, plant seeds, and make things grow. Put yourself in their shoes and it’s easy to see how wonderful it would be to do something familiar – like planting a garden – as you learn the language and traditions of a whole new place.
That’s exactly the situation for the nearly 150 students attending Valencia Newcomer School in the Alhambra Elementary School District. The children, in grades 3 through 8, hail from 33 countries and speak 18 different languages. Each student spends a year at Valencia in an immersion program designed to quickly advance their language skills and help them acquire fundamental math skills.
It’s also the reason ADM Group is so proud to have provided raised garden beds for Valencia’s recent Garden Build Day! That special day was the culmination of a successful, student-led effort to raise money to create the expanded garden area where they will grow a variety of vegetables and beautiful flowers. During the installation and celebration, the children danced, sang, planted seeds and helped move existing plants to the new beds.
Valencia’s Director, Lynette Faulkner, expressed her gratitude to ADM Group and other donors for their support. “We super-appreciate the fact that you saw the vision that we saw, to have our garden be not only a place of peace and comfort, but also a place we can use as an outdoor learning experience for our children,” said Mrs. Faulkner.
In just a few weeks, students will finish their year at Valencia and move back to their home schools in the Alhambra District where they will continue their studies in the Fall. We are deeply grateful to the Valencia students and teachers for the chance to help them thrive!