Food and family fun event organized by G.R.E.E.N. Team dynamos.
Jasmine Breiva and Lily Bauer learned that sometimes it's OK to play with your food. The girls created works of art using slices of apples, mushrooms and celery to stamp shapes on paper at the Bunnell Elementary G.R.E.E.N. (Garden Raising Environmental Efficiency Network) night.
The evening activity had more than 350 people who indicated they planned to attend. More than 200 people, adults and children, did participate – a surprise, since the weather was cold, raining, and just plain miserable.
Once inside the cafeteria spirits soared, and the first Family G.R.E.E.N. event was off to an excellent start.
Wearing their G.R.E.E.N. shirts, the five student team; Sean Gilliam, Jermaine Bucknor, Jackson McMillan, Madelynn Oliva, and Daniel Wolcott, ran the event on their own. There were adults, like Principal Richard Dupont, their teacher Jennifer Colindres, and parent Christina Gilliam present, but this was the student's event.
Dupont looked like a kid himself, as he wove through the throngs of happy faces, his being one of the happiest.
“These are the Community Future Problem Solvers,” Dupont said. “These kids are looking at core issues and developing programs. This is a child-directed program, with guidance of adults. Critical thinking is how they got this done.”
The group's attention to detail was evident in the smooth flow of people in the cafeteria and gymnasium. The plan was simple, everyone was given a color wristband when they checked in. The color determined which of the eight stations they would begin their evening. Each stop was 15 minutes. Using a spread sheet the team mapped out exactly where each vendor would be set up in the room.
Age-appropriate obstacle courses had been set up in the gymnasium, allowing the students and their siblings to challenge their dexterity.
Part of the G.R.E.E.N. team project was to contact each of the vendors, either by email, phone, or in person, to ask them to participate. They must have been persuasive because Publix, Home Depot, Smoothie King, and the University of Florida all set up booths and joined in the fun.
In front of each booth, large wooden cutouts created by students at FPC, provided one additional “professional event” organizing touch.
“Mr. Huckabee and his students at the high school cut these out for us, and our kids painted them,” Gilliam said.
Unlike most events, Colindres didn't have a lot to do during the event except watch her students enjoy the fruits of their labor.
“In the beginning of the year, the class decided on this project,” Colindres said. “They wanted to help families, teach them how to grow their own food, more than just supplying food. Mrs. Gilliam is their “parent extraordinaire.”
Raffles were conducted during the event, with items donated from Flagler businesses, like Lowe's who donated 20 personal box garden sets for families to put together. Only one garden set was raffled off, the other 19 will be given to families in need, and the G.R.E.E.N. team will be on hand to help them plant.