Laura Droppo and the DUSD Transition Class
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Hello! My name is Laura Droppo and I have been a Transition Teacher for Dublin Unified School District for the past two years. Even before teaching in Dublin, I looked forward to reading articles about Sunflower Hill in my local newspaper, the Pleasanton Weekly. When I was hired by Dublin Unified I immediately reached out to Sunflower Hill to learn how I might incorporate the garden into my program at school. After my initial tour, the Sunflower staff and I decided that volunteering in the garden would be a great experience for the students. My class now volunteers at Sunflower Hill Garden every Tuesday for one and one-half hours.
Sunflower Hill Garden not only provides my students a unique vocational experience but also gives them a sense of ownership and belonging that other job sites cannot provide. The amazing garden staff have the ability to individualize every task in order to meet the needs of the students and set them up to be successful. They take pride in their work and enjoy seeing the seeds they have planted grow into produce to donate or eat for snack.
I asked each student what they like best about Sunflower Hill. Indranil and Devon both mentioned that the dirt was a highlight, and Rossely especially liked the wheelbarrow. Others mentioned harvesting zucchini, Jerusalem artichokes, and basil. Ella even mentioned picking weeds! Nearly all of them mentioned eating the juicy strawberries as a favorite snack.
Tuesdays have quickly become of favorite day of the week for my students, and for me!