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The Greenhouse School: Greenhouse School Announces Essay and Poster Contest for St. Patrick’s Day

The Greenhouse School


Fall Festival was a Great Success

Thanks for coming in to take a peek inside “the place with the flags,” participating in our raffle and auction, kids’ room, face painting and other activities. Our silent auction was available online for the first time in our history, and we received many high bids.

Thanks to all the local artisans who donated handmade soaps, jewelry, pottery, sculpture and artwork. This event wouldn’t be possible without their help and the help of all the volunteers who spent the weekend with us.


Greenhouse School Announces Essay and Poster Contest for St. Patrick’s Day

The Greenhouse School, a small independent school in Salem, has announced a poster and essay contest for St. Patrick’s Day, based on the theme “Where does Sam-I-Am get his green eggs and ham?” The contest is open to students in grades 1 to 5.

“The green eggs and ham theme goes way back to when Ms. Welch was teaching at Horace Mann in the 1970s,” says GHS Director Dan Welch. “She would cook it up in an electric frying pan in the classroom and make a big deal out of the book and the food and everything.”

“We love Dr. Seuss!” says Assistant Director Julia Nambalirwa-Lugudde, who started the school’s own version of the essay and poster contest about 10 years ago. But more importantly, she adds, the book allows teachers to expand on a green theme and provoke thought about curiosity and trying new things. “Kids are so picky in their eating—which is one of the things that Geisel was getting at. Some will just push it around and refuse to eat it. But when they try it, their reaction is exactly like the character in the book. It’s a very useful epiphany.”

This realization is what learning is all about, and expands far beyond food, explains Welch. “Geisel was trying to say that people who are narrow and inflexible limit their experience and shrink their world—it’s a great lesson for learning. We try to get kids—and even parents sometimes!—to see that trying a bite of something a child hasn’t had before won’t kill them. The spillover to other areas is very useful.”

As for the St.Patrick’s Day theme, well, green is green. “We know it’s a bit of a stretch,” says Welch. It’s just fun for the little guys because of the colors and the book and the theme, but our St. Patrick’s Day curriculum has evolved into something much more serious. The green eggs and ham is only a small part of it.”

Nambalirwa-Lugudde, who is also Welch’s wife, is even more enthusiastic. “We have the best St. Patrick’s Day anywhere!” She crows. “It’s my favorite holiday after Halloween.” An interesting comment from a woman who emigrated from Uganda at age 9 and boasts no Irish roots at all. “But the rest of the curriculum is so important,” she adds. These activities involve studying The Great Hunger—the potato famine of 1847-8—and learning countless songs about the Irish struggle for freedom, along with cooking a traditional boiled dinner with the kids. “My Dad is in love with Frank McCort—he sees so many overlaps between the Irish and African experiences. Cooking a boiled dinner gives us so much to teach the kids about the ingenuity that comes from poverty—I guess that links back into the essay contest fairly well.”

Those wishing to enter should first read the complete rules here.

the greenhouse school is a year-round private alternative school in Salem, Massachusetts, for kids from infancy through grade eight, the greenhouse school is committed to true, lasting, comprehensive reform in education. However, also central to the idea of reform for us is the notion of access.

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