Rose Rock School, Seed Fund Grantee
January 23, 2013
In the photo above, a student of Rose Rock School waters the plants that surround her school in the Norman, Oklahoma sunshine. Her school believes that a child’s development is enhanced by taking part in daily tasks and caring for his or her learning space.
The photo captures the spirit of Rose Rock, a school serving 2-6 year olds that strives to offer innovative education in a nurturing environment. A quick glance at the wonderful photos found on Norman resident Sarah Warmker’s photography page provides a glimpse into the caring, safe and creative setting founder Shanah Admadi and her team has created for their young learning community.
“Our long-term goal is to help lead children toward conscious adulthood, in which they respect diversity, interact harmoniously with all people, nurture and protect the natural world, and give joyfully to the communities in which they live.” – Rose Rock School website
Rose Rock School is a Life Ways North America Representative Site. LifeWays Child Care proposes that childcare programs can closely resemble the warm, relaxed atmosphere of a home, and that children can benefit from forming strong bonds with consistent caregivers. An emphasis on creative play rather than structured lessons is a hallmark of the LifeWays school of thought. Every day at Rose Rock the children care for the garden, play outside, and participate in the preparation and clean-up of home cooked organic meals enjoyed family style around a small table or outside on a picnic blanket.
In May 2012, The Rose Rock School Foundation received a grant from the RSF Seed Fund to establish a biodynamic garden and apiary on the school’s new site, a historic home in central Norman. Shanah provided an update on the progress they had made on this project:
“Since Rose Rock School received the grant last May, we have utilized the money to help in us tending our new 4-acre plot of land (in the center of town) with biodynamic field sprays.We have had many Rose Rock community work days, spent trimming trees, removing trash and brush, and envisioning our future at this site. Until the rezoning and construction is finished, the bees we purchased will continue to live at an off-site location outside of town. We chose to keep them at a quieter location, while they organized themselves and recovered from their journey through the mail. Since their arrival, they have established a healthy hive, foraged on local wildflowers, and endured their first Oklahoma summer. We look forward to bringing them to their new home when it is ready.”
Shanah and team plan to build fencing to surround the apiary, for the protection of the children and the bees, while planting a variety of plants on the school grounds to serve as a nectar source. The school will benefit from the produce grown and honey harvested while also facilitating critical learning about the importance and value of sustainable agriculture. Remaining honey will be sold locally, to provide a revenue stream to help support the school.
Ellie Lanphier is Program Assisstant, Philanthropic Services at RSF Social Finance.