Growing food, preparing food and sharing food together are long established Evergreen traditions. The Food Literacy Program was started in 2017 and is made possible through a grant from Farm to Cafeteria Canada. Our focus is on both growing food and sourcing food from our local producers. In small groups, the intermediate students prepare lunches for their classmates. We always harvest something from our school garden and explore the cuisines of the world. We eat everything from Peru to Japan. The primary students have a Primary Nutrition Program where they prepare healthy snacks like smoothies and energy balls. In the interest of inclusivity, we have an entirely gluten free and vegetarian food program. All students become more adventurous and educated eaters after every school year.
Connection with our natural world is fundamental to the Evergreen experience. For as long as we can remember, the school has maintained an on-premise food garden that teaches our students about the skills and joy involved with growing their own food. Susan Paul, our Therapeutic Gardening and Woodworking Coordinator (and a former Evergreen parent herself) has crafted a year-round program that celebrates the seasons. Our families are welcomed to take part in the garden program; as a bonus they stand to benefit from Susan’s expertise, especially if you get in her good books by signing up for the summer watering schedule.
For as long as anyone can remember, Evergreen has taken a thematic approach to learning. At the beginning of each year staff identify 8 monthly themes with suggestions from our students, that will be integrated into various subjects, giving them context and meaning. Past themes have ranged from: Medieval times to Robotics to exploring the worlds oceans, with countless other fun ones in-between.
Jennie Stevens runs Evergreen's Music program, together with principal Alex Gallacher. Jennie studied Early Childhood Education and Music at UVIC, before moving to Sweden where she participated in a choir and started marimba bands. Over her teaching career, Jennie has discovered the love for building confidence through music. Complimenting this, Alex has a long-held passion for singing/guitar and maintains an impressive theatrical resumé with The Shawnigan Players. Students at Evergreen explore music through singing, movement, role playing, storytelling and focused units using marimbas, xylophones, percussion and rhythm instruments. The focus on acceptance, individuality, and relationships are important to both Alex and Jennie.
Students at Evergreen have the chance to pair up with older/ younger students for Reading Buddies. These pairings change mid-way through the year and allow for interconnectedness in the student community and mentoring opportunities such as supported reading and writing activities.
Since 2018, Juniper and Spruce students (grades 4-8) have participated in the PowerPlay Young Entrepreneurs educational program. Over the course of several weeks, students are tasked with product design, development, marketing, costing and sales. The program culminates in a craft fair where students have a chance to interact with real customers and earn real money. Since a portion of their profits go to charity, the impact of giving is also explored.