News Release
Homer CCSD 33C
Goodings Grove   Luther J. Schilling   William E. Young   William J. Butler
Hadley Middle   Homer Jr. High
Contact: Charla Brautigam, Communications/Public Relations Manager | 708-226-7628

For Immediate Release:
March 30, 2016
Young School students make contact with garden pals in Uganda
   Students in Karen Kraynak’s fourth-grade class and Lisa Estes’ third-grade class are anxious to hear back from their new friends in Uganda.
The students, who were selected to participate in a Global Garden Exchange program with students in Uganda, recently sent their first note off to their “sister school.”
“A BIG hello to our sister school, St. Peter’s Mateete Primary School in Mateete, Uganda,” students wrote. “We are so very happy to have the opportunity to share our love of gardening with you across the world in Africa.”
Students plan to share gardening ideas and techniques with their new friends in Uganda. They will be using their measurement, problem-solving and research skills to grow fruits and vegetables from seed and share their progress with fourth- and fifth-grade students at St. Peter’s Mateete Primary School.
“We are 56 students from William E. Young Elementary School in Homer Glen, IL USA,” students told their new garden pals. “Our nearest big city is Chicago, IL, which you may locate on a map.  Mrs. Estes’s third graders and Mrs. Kraynak’s fourth graders are working on this project together.
“Next week, we will begin planting seeds indoors in small peat pots,” they continued. “We are nearing the end of our winter, but we are nowhere near to planting outside. We could still see temperatures below freezing levels. We want to give our plants a head start by planting them indoors and transplanting them out in our garden at the end of April.  We have a very short growing season, May-October, so we hope to get as much as we can from our garden at Young School. How long is your growing season?”
Young School students were paired with the school in Mateete by Slow Food USA, a global, grassroots organization that practices small-scale and sustainable production of quality food around the world.
The goal is to reconnect youth with their food by teaching them how to grow, cook and enjoy real food.
Students will be emailing each other, sharing information about their growing seasons and photos of their gardens.
“We will grow tomatoes, potatoes, green beans, cucumbers, radishes, strawberries, and some flowers that will keep pests away from our garden,” students told their new friends in Mateete. “We are wondering what crops you plan on growing this year?”
They concluded: “We can’t wait to hear back from you!”
Like us on Facebook at