In addition to traditional instruction in reading, writing, and math, The O’Gorman Garden offers a wonderful array of enrichment programming. We provide classes in gardening, art education, music education, drama, and yoga. Each of these programs is provided once a week, giving the children we serve much needed space for creative, expressive, and inspiring learning.
One of the very special offerings at The O’Gorman Garden is our outdoor backyard space, where we teach our young students about caring for nature and about vegetable and flower gardening (seeds, preparing beds, how plants grow etc.). In 2015, we hatched and raised chicks in the classroom and now three of them live permanently in our garden in a brand new chicken coop we constructed (pictured below). In 2016, we completed the renovation of our backyard garden, which now includes a chicken run and vegetables beds (our students plant broccoli, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, collard greens, and lettuce). We also use the garden space to enjoy fresh air, relax, play, and eat during the warmer months.
Our students are tremendously fortunate to study science every week. Joan Wilce, PhD, shares the delights of science, inspiring a passion for learning using her degrees in zoology and botany. Areas of study have included “tendons, how they work as demonstrated using chickens’ feet” and “liquid, solid, and gas.” Science Thursdays are highlight for our children year round.
The O’Gorman Garden uses Visual Thinking Strategies to expose our young students to visual art. Students share their observations of different works, learning how to describe, react to, and become comfortable and confident looking at art. We take small groups of students to New York City art museums as well as other cultural institutions. This program is generously funded by the Robert Lehman Foundation.
Our students are provided yoga instruction every Monday, providing them with a calm and welcoming beginning to the week. We practice stretching, light poses using slow, deep yoga breathing.
Cultural Field Trips
At The O’Gorman Garden, we look at all of New York City as our classroom. We have a vast and wonderful city full of unique cultural experiences to share with our children. We take frequent field trips to art museums, cultural icons (such as the Roosevelt Island Tram and Wave Hill in the Bronx) and take part in seasonal activities, such as pumpkin picking.