Bowers Academy is in its twentieth year of operation! Staff, past and present, recently welcomed alumni and encouraged reflective dialogue through the sharing of success stories at the annual alumni brunch. At its inception, relationships were the cornerstone of learning; twenty years later, community and engagement continue to frame the mission and vision.
Throughout the holiday season, Bowers Academy students continued to grow their partnerships and utilize resources in order to create seasonal items at the farm. Earlier this fall, students made applesauce and apple chips; the joy and excitement students exuded while participating in this activity was heartwarming. In November, students returned to the kitchen to use up the last of the pumpkin patch in order to create individual pies to take home for Thanksgiving. Students enjoyed the entire process as they created a homemade treat together as a team. Highlights were cutting up the pumpkin and rolling out the dough.
"Gathering over a meal is one of the most ancient forms of community process, as people sharing food appreciate each other at a profound level. Nourished bodies and relationships pave the way for better collaboration and higher quality work." We will continue to capitalize on the opportunity to nourish our minds and bodies as we continue to explore the resources in this space.
Most recently, Academy students were engaged as Jessica Lynn, instructor of AFNR/CTE courses at Bowers, supported the students as they created winter evergreen arrangements. This fundraiser fostered student engagement and creativity as students learned about balance, unity, harmony, rhythm, contrast, and emphasis in flora. . . not to mention the great smells that accompany working with all that greenery!
There have been many new and exciting initiatives at Bowers Academy since the start of this school year. Currently, Academy students are collaborating with the farm to create a student driven school store. In the past months, the students divided into planning committees and led two official business meetings (one with Mr. Alan Jaros, and the other with Mr. Russell McCall from the P.R.E.P Program). They also worked together to create the first iteration of a business plan that will guide their work moving forward. The collaboration with the farm and P.R.E.P programs demonstrate the Academy's desire to continue to build community as they serve utilizing resources in their community. Next steps include designing a sales desk and teaming with P.R.E.P to build their vision from the ground up. Academy students have been spending time in the farm lobby, envisioning their dream store and sketching their ideas. They then shared those ideas with Mr. McCall, who will draw up a final plan and present it to the Academy students for review, before they start building together. Ultimately. the goal is to see Bowers Farm products at the P.R.E.P store and P.R.E.P products at the Bowers Farm Store, with students partnering together as they learn.