This week New Morning Market welcomes guest blogger Jeff Martin, the Executive Director of the Children’s Community School (CCS) – a pre-k through grade 7 school in Waterbury, CT where the mission is to lay the foundation for urban students’ educational success by offering robust curriculum and unique experiences, by developing their individual character, and by cultivating strong family involvement.  

Gardens provide so many wonderful metaphors for education.  Ideas of “planting seeds,” cultivating good habits, and celebrating growth are just a few examples of connecting the labor of gardening with the work of education.  However, I want to look at something different, and that is the idea of partnership.

As a general rule, I try to avoid cliche phrases, but in this case, they are entirely relevant.  Here are a couple that you are certainly familiar with:

“Two minds are better than one.”

“Many hands make light work.”

These two adages come to mind in light of the exciting new partnership established between Children’s Community School, New Morning Market, and Neighborhood Housing Services of Waterbury.  Bringing together our respective strengths and resources, each of these organizations has come together to launch a community garden in the heart of Waterbury’s Crownbrook neighborhood.

Using gardening as a metaphor for collaboration and partnership is also apropos.  At the risk of revealing my lack of gardening experience and knowledge, I know that the “partnership” between soil, sun, and water are essential to the success of any garden.  In this case, we bring together a school committed to rigorous learning and unique experiences, an organization whose mission seeks to build community ownership and revitalization, and a natural food market with a vision “to sustain a healthy learning and growing community.”  From the perspective of Children’s Community School, we consider ourselves beyond fortunate to partner with New Morning Market in a project that will surely nourish and strengthen our community.

I was fortunate to observe Children’s Community School students as they planted some of the first vegetables in the new community garden.  I am eager to return to the garden with them so they can continue to care for their plants and enjoy the fruits of their labor.  Whether they realize it now or not, they are learning skills and knowledge that can serve them for a lifetime.  On behalf of everyone at CCS, we are beyond grateful to New Morning Market, our partners and fellow educators.


Jeff Martin

Executive Director

Children’s Community School