Meet Puja!

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Photo by Dani Boutte

I am so happy to introduce the second featured staff member of our wonderful garden crew Puja Gellerman!  She has been instrumental in the growth of our garden this year! She has brought so much to Quander with her vast knowledge in several educational areas; it has been an excellent learning experience for both myself and the students! I could tell you all about it but instead I’ll let her tell you herself.  Take it away Puja…

Hello there and welcome to our school garden blog! I am Puja Gellerman, a community neighbor to Quander Road School, an Occupational Therapist, Master Gardener, Registered Yoga Teacher, and Mom to an energizer bunny who is about 16 months old. I started at Quander as a volunteer working with students in the garden. It didn’t take long before I came on board to the Quander team to work part time as an Instructional Assistant (IA).

As an Occupational Therapist, I pull on my knowledge base on how to either adapt or modify a task to support a person’s participation in any given activity.  The garden serves as a meaningful place for many students. Whether it is a place to be alone, socialize, or work- there are many skills being addressed for the unique population that makes up Quander.

Throughout various classes I encourage students to participate in the garden and take on specific responsibilities such as caring for seedlings, creating structures for the garden such as a compost bin or trellis; learn about what gets composted and how to do it, and maintain a cohesive habitat to include birds, worms, and pollinators. I value being creative and discovering how the garden can be a place of learning and leisure for students and staff.

I hope you can tell how excited it makes me to be part of the Quander family!

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From left to right: working in the garden center, planting seeds in our raised beds, breaking up dirt to spread, and teaching the students about composting!                                                                               Photos by Brooke LaPorta
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