E.O. Field Trips

Please come join us as Empirical Opera members present in this conference panel & discussion session at the Family Farmed Expo-

Teaching and Eating in the Garden:

Enabling educators to utilize the school garden in their curriculum and find new models for nutrition education.

Teaching and Eating in the Garden at the
6th Annual CFPAC Summit Food Policy Breakout Session

March 18, 2011 from 11:30am-1:00pm

At the UIC Forum — University of Illinois at Chicago
as a part of the three-day Family Farmed Expo

Location: UIC Forum / 725 West Roosevelt Road, Chicago, IL 60607. Click for directions/map.
Purchase tickets (for single event, full day, or three-day pass) at the Family Farmed Box Office.

Join this Breakout Session panel presentation and community discussion-
Teaching and Eating in the Garden: Enabling educators to utilize the school garden in their curriculum and find new models for nutrition education.

Breakout Session Goals:
Establishing and incorporating gardens into schools’ curriculum is a priority. Nutrition education must embrace a broader understanding of the ecological, personal and social impact of the foods we eat. School gardens provide an unparalleled opportunity for engaging in the food system and illustrating it’s complexity.

    Participants will come away with:

  • Motivation and inspiration to begin growing edible plants as educational
    tools in a way that can scale to their needs, be that small herb plants in
    the classroom or a larger in situ garden.
  • Recognition of the school garden as an opportunity to teach a wide variety
    of subjects and skills including: biology, history, team work, math, writing…
  • Strategies to encourage student, parent, community and teacher
    involvement in the school garden.
  • Ability to instruct students in Taste Education.
    Session goals, discussion issues & possible policy changes:

  • Funding allocated for establishing school gardens.
  • Healthful cooking instruction included in curriculum.
  • Professional development for teachers to learn gardening skills, garden based curriculum and cooking curriculum.
  • Require nutrition education to include instruction on of food systems (ie.where food comes from, environmental impact, social impact, etc.) in addition to personal health issues.

By presenting this session, we hope to establish a community of people with a
commitment to school gardening and nutrition education who can share contact
information (on a voluntary basis). Creating this access to each other’s passion and skills will bolster success in projects inspired by this session. The hope is that this group will then
begin their own educational gardening and cooking projects and share their
experiences and discoveries with each other.

The session will also provide a take-away “tool kit” that will assist participants in moving forward with policy action in their community.

    The tool-kit will include:

  • example curriculum from several teachers and schools
  • planning and growing advice for establishing a school garden
  • classroom ready recipes
  • sources for gardening materials
  • possible funding sources
  • resources for gardening advice
  • resources for curriculum
  • a list of professional development opportunities

Panelists/Discussion Guiders:

Megan Larmer is a board member with Slow Food Chicago and the Chicago Rarities Orchard Project. In 2010 she was selected as a delegate to Slow Food International’s Terra Madre conference. Currently, Megan is training as a Master Gardener. Megan is the facilitator & organizer for this CFPAC breakout session.

Lynn Hyndman on retiring from teaching took on the challenge of starting an edible school garden at her former school. The Dawes Garden of Eatin’ begins its eighth year of operation this spring. At the heart of the program is Taste Education along with helping children understand that their food choices effect not only their health but that of the planet.

Patricia Holdredge is a special subject handwork teacher at the Chicago Waldorf School. She is also the master gardener for the school who was instrumental in developing the Sophia Garden for over 10 years and now maintains the school’s beehives and plots in the Ruby Garden in Schreiber Park. In 1999 and 2000 Mayor Daley presented the Sophia Garden with 1st place awards in the City of Chicago’s Landscape Competition.

Jason Greenberg is parent and staff at the Chicago Waldorf School. He teaches sustainable design. As an activist educator he founded the Empirical Opera, the Spring Green Bike Tour, and has collaborated with Angelic Organics Learning Center, Heifer International, Chicago Rarities Orchard Project (CROP) and other locavoure and slow food advocacy organizations.

Jennifer Sandy became involved with Slow Food Chicago through the preSERVE project, a community garden in North Lawndale.


Quick Reminder:

The E.O. Weekly Skate at Warren Park continues…

Thursdays, until end of Feb., 2011

See you this Thursday at around 3:30pm on the ice!

Join us every week…(for the address and map to the location, follow this link to previous post)

Style is the mind skating circles around itself as it moves forward.” -Robert Frost

Style is managing to turn a “watch out for that banana peel,” feet-out-from-under-you, backwards, arms pinwheeling fall into a triple lutz that looks like you meant to do that.” -Jason Greenberg

Last years skating outings were such a big hit; we figured, lets not change a thing…

Thursdays 3:30-6:00pm skate to your heart’s content.

We are re-launching the the E.O. skating excursions starting this Thursday, Dec. 16th.

All interested Empirical Operans are invited to come (bring friends and fellow outdoor enthusiasts) and feel the nip in your nose and catch a snowflake on the tip of your tongue as you skate in the beautiful outdoors at Warren Park Ice Skating Rink.

Bring your kids, bring your skates (or cheap $5 rental is available at the shop) for free skating sessions. The E.O. will host meet-ups at the Warren Park ice rink, weather permitting, for the entire Winter season through Sunday, Feb 27 (when the rink closes).

Warren Park
6601 N. Western Ave. (Map It)
$6 skate rental or free if you bring your own skates

Looking for a rink closer to home? See the Chicago Park District Rinks.
Submitted by E.O. members Vicki Walden & Jason Greenberg

Ever wanted to try starting a chicken farm right in your own backyard?
Will you go to great lengths for fresh eggs?
Want your kids to see how chickens live (maybe even feed them or hold them?)
Want to bond with other chicken-centric folks?

Then we have the event for you…

(Note: click on the image to see a slightly larger, printable version of this event flier)

Contributed by E.O. member, Michelle E. Thoma

This Saturday the kids are back: They are jumpin’ on bikes for the next…

KIDICAL MASS (bike ride)-

Palmer Square & Logan Square

Saturday June 12th

meetup at 10:30 / ride starts at 11:00am, ends around 12:30
start/end at the Palmer Square Bunny Playground  (map it)
3100 W. Palmer Boulevard (btwn Kedzie & Humboldt Blvds)

Also the Kidical Mass rides are featured in this week’s TimeOut Chicago where you can read a little more about the history of the group.

Tell yer friends; bring your bikes!

Kidical Mass Neighborhood Rides

Join the Kidical Mass for slow, easy-going, fun, group rides focused on kids (of all ages) and families that will tour various neighborhoods and parks. Playground play-time will be included on most rides at beginning and end of rides.
All ages welcome. Please wear helmets! Invite your friends to join us!

Ride with your kids. (Bike trailers, Kid Seats & Add-a-bikes welcome for the little ones). Kids on their own bikes will stay together and explore the neighborhood and enjoy the fun, parade and spectacle of a group mass bike ride. Parents are required to accompany their children while tour guides lead the route and assist in navigating intersections and stopping points.
Riders are expected to wear helmets during the tour. Tours are free and open to the public.

Organized by E.O. members, Jason Greenberg & Todd Allen

Dear Friends…Get on the Bus!!! Or march with us outside the bus…
bring a wagon to tote your kids, snacks and pride signs!

Waldorf School shows its Pride

At the 2010 Chicago LGBT Pride Parade

Hey Everybody…

The Chicago Waldorf School is joining the growing ranks of schools and other family focused institutions participating in the Chicago Pride Parade. The substantial growth in the number of same sex parents raising children—and the variations of family models which have proliferated—has led to actively embracing diverse notions of what constitutes loving families that raise our children for the future. Our students, teachers, and parents (hetero, homo, and trans) enjoy the pride that comes from joining in the days events to celebrate the diversity of our own community.

Sunday June 27th

meetup by 11:30am. Parade starts at noon.

Click Here to reserve your place. (How many attending?)

Select a spot inside the bus or choose to march outside in front of the bus. (But we can’t stop the bus to move in and out; you have to pick one location for the duration). You can choose to march the full parade route or leave the route after the halfway point (for our younger kids with less stamina) at Broadway and Melrose. This exiting group will join the parade marchers from the Nettlehorst School for a co-sponsored “after parade party” that joins our families in their school play-yard for playtime with music, food, Root Beer Floats and other treats & fun activities. Meanwhile anyone who wishes to will continue with the CWS bus until the end of the parade at the intersection of Diversey, Lakeview & Cannon Drive.

Please sign up now as we are limited to only 30 “slots” for Waldorf Family marchers (with more seats available on the bus). We will send more specific info about the event meetup to people as they sign up. Register now (its free) to save your space in our parade float (please indicate your # family members and “inside bus” or “marching”).

Parade Route Map

More Info about the parade:
This year the Chicago 41st Annual Pride Parade steps off from the Halsted & Belmont corner, proceeding north on Halsted (to Broadway); then south on Broadway (to Diversey); then east on Diversey to Cannon Drive, in Lincoln Park. The Grand Marshal of this year’s parade is country singer/songwriter Chely Wright. The parade will feature 250 registered entries including floats, decorated vehicles, performance groups, a marching band and walking contingents. Crowd estimates each year are in the hundreds of thousands. So the plans are to line the parade route with barricades on both sides of the street from beginning of the parade route to Diversey. Spectators will be required to remain behind the barricades. In addition, parade marshals and police officers will be placed along the entire parade route as well.

CWS float coordinated by E.O. members: Cathey Stamps, Jen Zielinski and Jason Greenberg

Filled with international talents and serving local kids from Uptown and many other Chicago neighborhoods, CircEsteem is a treasure. This Youth Circus & Afterschool Program offers many great services from circus arts and life-skills training to athletic competitions and after school tutoring. And of course they specialize in Circus Performance. So come see their grand annual circus; this is the big extravaganza where the kids (both young & teen staff) will make you jealous of just how easily a young body can make these physical feats look effortless and magical. Everything from juggling to clowning, floor exercises, trampoline to ariel acrobatics, gymnastic wheels, unicycles, and more. Check out these kids as they strut their stuff!

    Ladies & Gentlemen, Children of All Ages, come join us to see

    CircEsteem’s Springtide Circus

    The 9th Annual Spring Circus

    Friday  May 21,    7:30 PM
    Saturday May 22, 4:00 PM

    at the

    Francis Parker School (Heller Auditorium)
    330 W. Webster (close to Lincoln Park)
    Map it.

    Springtide Circus Tickets are $11-$18. Purchase tickets through Brown Paper Tickets.

    Join CircEsteem for a benefit reception before the big show on the 21st at 6:30 p.m.! Proceeds from the reception will go to fund the CircEsteem Scholarship Fund.  Tickets for the cocktail reception are $40 and can be purchased here.

    CircEsteem’s Executive Director is E.O.member, Maribeth Joy.
    Also supported  by E.O. Members, Jason Greenberg & Vicki Walden

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