Description: Cranbury Presbyterian Nursery School nurtures the inquisitive minds of young children, so we believe that an early introduction to agriculture-awareness is essential to nurture a lifelong love of nature and our environment. Four years ago, our preschool installed a 12' X 12' teaching garden on the school's grounds. Each year from April to November we have enjoyed exploring the teaching garden and have used it to teach so many agricultural concepts.
Our students enjoy each aspect of caring for the garden, more than planting seeds and picking tomatoes. In April, we begin by learning how to prepare the garden for growing. We enjoy pulling weeds from the roots, compare deep and shallow root systems, and learn that some smell like onions! We learn why weeding the garden makes our plants stronger. We learn that some vegetables grow above the ground and some grow below, that plants grow to different heights, and that some produce blossoms which turn into vegetables! Some grow quickly, and for others, we seem to wait forever.
While we are preparing and weeding our garden we enjoy collecting bugs and worms for inspection, identification, and discussion and then release them back into the garden. We have a worm farm in our classroom and we watch the worms dig, since the worm farm has plastic sides so we can see the worms 'underground'. We learn that worms are useful to our garden, aerate the soil, and leave essential nutrients behind for our plants to enjoy.
The children plant seeds and watch them grow in plastic cups so we can examine root systems. Crops include lettuce, spinach, broccoli, strawberries, tomatoes, zucchini, beans, chives, pumpkins, cucumbers, and more have grown in our garden. We journal our experiences, measure, compare/contrast young seedlings, and learn how we can help these plants produce delicious vegetables. We experiment by sprouting bean seeds in water, sand, rocks, and paper towels and learn what environment yields the best seedlings and why. We even have the children help build an irrigation system since we don't have a water source near the garden!
As we pick and taste our crops, we teach that part of growing is trying new tastes/textures. The children learn about the food pyramid and that part of a healthy diet includes foods from many food groups. We talk about our favorites from each group and learn that these foods originate on farms! We enjoy setting up a pretend farm stand in our classroom, 'selling' produce, learning money value, adding, budgeting, and introducing new vegetables to the children. We are fortunate to have a teacher's assistant whose family has been farming in Cranbury since 1926. She is always happy to answer questions about farm life, equipment, crops, and running a farm stand.
Von Thun's field trip offers our children consistent agriculture teaching about nurturing plants and flowers, having a plan for the farm, selling the produce and plants, caring for the animals, nature facts in the barn, and more. We have especially enjoyed the 'burger' and 'pizza' gardens. The children tie in what they have learned in class to real-life farming which deepens their learning. We know this is true because of the relevant questions and comments they share while on the trip and back in class. We value our farming community and are proud to have the opportunity to teach the children agriculture at Cranbury Presbyterian Nursery School.
As evidenced in the essay we learn a lot at CPNS but in the most developmentally appropriate ways for preschoolers.
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|Date Cited||Date Abated||Regulation Number||Summary|
|2019-10-17||2019-12-03||3A:52-5.3(l)(1)(vii)||Physical plant requirements for all centers|
Emergency procedure requirements are as follows: the center shall prepare written emergency procedures delineating a diagram showing how the center is to be evacuated in case of emergency from each classroom and the outdoor play area.
Violation Observed: Ensure evacuation from the playground is on diagrams.
|2019-10-17||2019-12-03||3A:52-5.3(n)(4)||Physical plant requirements for all centers|
Fire prevention requirements are as follows: all fire extinguishers shall be visually inspected once a month, and serviced and tagged at least once a year and recharged, if necessary, as specified in the NJUFC.
Violation Observed: Ensure that fire extinguishers are serviced.
|2019-10-17||2020-01-22||3A:52-5.3(a)(15)||Physical plant requirements for all centers|
Indoor maintenance and sanitation requirements are as follows: ventilation outlets shall be clean and free from obstructions, and filters shall be replaced when saturated.
Violation Observed: Maintain mechanical ventilation operable in room 20, bathroom.
|2019-10-17||2019-12-03||3A:52-4.10(b)(2)||Child Abuse Record Information background check procedures|
When the center applies for a new or renewal license or Certificate of Life/Safety Approval, the sponsor or sponsor representative shall submit to the Department the completed CARI consent forms for all staff members who are or will be working at the center on a regularly scheduled basis. Until the results of the CARI background check for a new staff member have been received from the Department, the center shall ensure oversight of the new staff member by another staff member, and ensure that person is not left alone to supervise a child or group of children.
Violation Observed: Provide 3 missing CARI checks.
The center shall maintain on file documentation of the date, time, topic, presenter, and attendance for all staff development and orientation completed by center staff members. The center shall record each staff member’s completion of staff development and orientation on the Staff Records Checklist, as specified in N.J.A.C. 3A:52-4.1(b).
Violation Observed: Provide orientation training for 3 staff.
|2019-10-17||2019-12-03||3A:52-5.3(c)(1)||Physical plant requirements for all centers|
Lighting requirements are as follows: all fluorescent tubes and incandescent light bulbs shall have protective covers or shields.
Violation Observed: Provide protective cover on the lights in the bathroom in room 20.
|2019-10-17||2019-12-03||3A:52-5.4(a)(1)||Additional physical plant requirements for early childhood programs|
For early childhood programs, the following shall apply, all electrical outlets that are accessible to the children shall have protective covers.
Violation Observed: Provide protective covers on all electrical outlets throughout the center.
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