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College Counseling Team Springs into Action

There’s no stopping the College Counseling team, a department at TMA dedicated specifically to advancing TMA’s college culture. This Spring, the team has been coordinating a series of events that help expose students to colleges and the processes that go into being accepted. Mr. Mitchell, Director of College and Alumni Programming and Mr. Winder, Alumni Program and College Associate, work together to ensure that students and TMA’s extended network of 500 alumni have guidance and a wealth of support to be successful in college and beyond.

Alumni Visits & Care Packages Special Delivery: March 13-15

livingstone college visitThe season kicked off with Mr. Mitchell and Mr. Winder visiting four universities to check in on alumni and their college experiences. With care packages in tow and gift cards for students to use at local grocery stores, they spent a few days in North Carolina where they caught up with alumni who are set to graduate college in the next few years. The first stop was Livingstone College followed by Winston Salem State University, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and Bennett College. Many alumni who journey off to schools that are more than five hours away from home have limited opportunities to visit family and friends outside of holidays or seasonal breaks. Therefore, the College Counseling team works together to bring familiarity to students so that they continue to feel supported by loved ones.

Freshmen Take Math Lessons at the University of Maryland: March 23

math college tripAs a way to expose students to the diligence and dedication that goes into being successful in a math-related major at the college level, TMA’s Math Teacher Ms. Allen took her Algebra 1 Honors class to the University of Maryland. During the day-long trip, students observed a College of Algebra and Trigonometry class, where they were engaged with the professor, ask questions, and solved equations alongside their college-level peers. Students met up with TMA alumnus Seren Snow, who is graduating from University of Maryland in May, and picked his brain about the university and his experience as a double major, Cum Laude scholar, and his jumpstart career set to start in June.

The Junior Class College Tour: March 28-30

While the ninth, tenth, and twelfth graders were enjoying Spring Break, Mr. Mitchell and Mr. Winder rallied up the Juniors for a 3-day-college-tour road trip that journeyed to the campuses of Franklin & Marshall Universities, Gettysburg College, Susquehanna College, Bucknell University, and Penn State University. More than 20 TMA students participated alongside their high school peers from DC Prep and the Prep Next Program.

The 7th Annual Spring College Fair: April 14

P1020485TMA’s 7th Annual Spring College Fair was a dynamic experience where students had the opportunity to meet with college admissions staff to learn more about the schools they plan to attend in the future.  Representatives from more than 55 diverse colleges and organizations were on site and prepared to answer student questions and provide insight on qualification requirements. Students collected pamphlets and other materials that gave them an inside look to the respective school’s college culture. Mr. Mitchell and Mr. Winder were on-hand guiding students to specific schools that they thought were the best fit for the student’s needs, personality, and long-term goals.

Junior Class College Trip: April 20

The entire Junior class spent the day traveling to four schools for a day-long college trip. Departing at 7am, half of the students headed to Lincoln University and Widener University, and the second group went to The University of Richmond and Virginia State University.

The College Counseling team is just getting started! As we get closer to graduation on June 10th, they are working diligently to ensure that every senior is on track to being accepted into college. Since 2005, Thurgood Marshall Academy has graduated more than 500 students from East of the River communities, all of whom were accepted to college and who set the precedent for TMA’s 11-year (and counting) 100% college acceptance rate.

A Gift of Song: Angel’s Story

angel_CORIn this Q&A, Angel Haythe (TMA ’15) shares why Black History Month at TMA is an empowering time for students to delve deeper into African-American culture and heritage. Haythe performed Nina Simone’s “Strange Fruit” and “Mississippi Goddam” at TMA’s 5th Annual Celebrating Our Roots. The powerful songs and the explosive lyrics were a heartfelt response to reoccurring violent events during the Civil Rights Movement that claimed the innocent lives of African-Americans. Today, Haythe is studying Business and Music at Trinity Washington University and is inspired by events like Celebrating Our Roots, which allow her to use her gifted voice to “help spread positivity and inspiration.”

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Celebrating Our Roots All Month Long

P1040254At the close of Black History Month, Thurgood Marshall Academy hosted Celebrating Our Roots, a powerful production that honored the Civil Rights Movement. The event allowed students, alumni, faculty and staff, and the community to relive monumental moments in Black History and pay tribute to African-American leaders who paved the way for a better society. Through spoken word, poetry, dance, art, song, and other student-driven content, students displayed a passion for their culture during the grand finale event that concluded TMA’s month-long Black History celebration.

At the beginning of Black History Month, TMA launched its first-ever “Teach-in” that gave the entire student body a platform to celebrate Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and delve into thought-provoking discussions about his life and legacy, and his role in education reform. Across history classes, students made connections between the legal battles Justice Marshall took on and the work that still needs to be done today.

“The History Department could not think of a better way to start this tradition than to celebrate Thurgood Marshall and understand a bit more about the man who our school is named after,” said Karen Lee, Social Studies Teacher.

After students explored Justice Marshall’s achievements and influences, the Black Awareness Club hosted a Thurgood Marshall inspired trivia scavenger hunt. “We are excited to see our students grow and be challenged by the work of Marshall,” said Alecia Walker, the club’s advisor. Ms. Walker, who coordinated Celebrating Our Roots, is also TMA’s African-American Studies Teacher. She continues to create a classroom environment where students can apply class lessons to today’s hot-topic societal issues like the Black Lives Matter Movement.

P1040139Ms. Walker, like many teachers in the History and English department at TMA, find creative ways to provide a safe space for students to discuss challenges facing their communities, particularly social justice issues. Students in Ms. Lee’s US Government class and Ms. Lyon’s British Literature class led an informed discussion with students from Edmund Burke School and D. Watkins, author of “The Beast Side: Living (and Dying) While Black in America,” about poverty, the justice system, politics, race, the achievement gap, and much more.

P1040187Students led another dynamic Q&A session with Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, who visited TMA alongside young advocates and non-profit leaders Yasmine Arrington, Clayton Armstrong, and Tony Lewis, Jr. The focus of the meet-and-greet was to inform students about the resources that are in place to help underserved communities. Congresswoman Norton talked about the importance of the DC Tuition Assistance Grant (or DCTAG) and how it benefits District residents, especially those from low-income homes. The other panelists dived into ways to overcome common social issues facing African-American communities as part of the “Millennial Success Stories” series.

During Black History Month, TMA works more collaboratively than ever to ensure that life-changing events that have shaped today’s world are at the forefront of class lessons, discussions, and activities. Celebrating Our Roots is an event that brings black history month full circle and challenges our students to use their gifts and talents to commemorate a moment in time that catapulted African-American leaders who were advocating for change.

In this Q&A, Angel Haythe (TMA ’15) shares why events like Celebrating Our Roots are an empowering way to showcase African-American history.

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Special thanks to 21st Century Community Learning Centers, DC Trust Catalyst for Youth Success, Diane Alemitu Anderson, and other supporters and friends who made Celebrating Our Roots possible.

TMA’s College Counseling Department in Action

Voss-TMA161The College Counseling Team works year-round to equip students and their families with the resources they need to take on a college career. Staying true to our mission to prepare students to succeed in college, TMA invests in a full-time department dedicated to college counseling and alumni relations. For the past decade, the department has achieved many goals—100% college acceptance rate for 11 years in a row and graduating over 500 students, 90% of whom enroll in college immediately after high school and graduate college at rates higher than their neighborhood peers.

Voss-TMA163Mr. Mitchell, Director of College and Alumni Programming and Mr. Winder, Associate College Counselor, are committed to seeing students succeed in college. They lead students on this new and, in some cases, challenging journey every step of the way. From college tours and help with college and scholarship applications to financial planning workshops for families, students have a go-to-source to seek answers to the lingering question that all high school seniors ask—“what’s next?”

Most recently, our senior class worked with 40 volunteers from Accenture, Howard University School of Law, and the local community on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the national of day of service. Students teamed up with volunteers to review more than 50 college scholarships and complete applications. The day-long event also included an impactful workshop that introduced juniors to a variety of summer leadership programs and other enrichment activities that prepare them for college.

P1040120As a way to provide additional support to seniors who need help completing their college applications, TMA hosted its annual College Application Help Night. The evening was dedicated to seniors who work one-on-one with mentors, faculty, and staff to revise their personal statements, navigate the online application process, and write appealing responses to short-answer-questions that are typically included in applications.

Students learn about the variety of scholarships and their eligibility requirements and go through the college application process in Senior Seminar, a course that introduces students to ‘all-things-college.’ But with other programs like the annual College Fair, students are exposed to a number of colleges and universities in addition to other areas of interest that may be worth pursuing after graduation.

“Along with resources that support the students who are planning to go to college and have made that commitment, the college counseling department goes a step further,” said Mr. Mitchell. “It is important to nurture a student’s strengths and listen to their interests that may not necessarily be to attend college right away. So for those students, what is a lucrative next step?” Many of these graduates go on to pursue careers in the US Navy, US Army, police or firefighters academies, and other careers that contain a significant element of community service.

What makes the College and Alumni Programs Department unique is that Mr. Mitchell and Mr. Winder maintain relationships with alumni long after they graduate. Every semester, they make surprise visits to students attending college to encourage them, check in on their progress, and gift them with care packages. Recently, the team took a road trip to upstate New York and visited eight alumni at five universities. The two-day trip started at Daeman College in Buffalo where they caught up with Carlos McKnight (TMA 15′), who is adjusting well to life-on-campus as president of the freshmen class. This semester, the College Counseling Team plans to visit TMA alumni enrolled at colleges in the Raleigh and Durham areas of North Carolina.

Richard Pohlman Named Permanent Executive Director

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Richard Pohlman, Executive Director

Dear members of the Thurgood Marshall Academy community,

On behalf of the Board of TMA, I am pleased to announce that Richard Pohlman has been appointed the permanent executive director of Thurgood Marshall Academy. In August, Rich began his role as the school’s interim executive director; since that time, he has proven to be an effective and inspiring leader and a great fit for the TMA community.

As the school’s third executive director, Rich will continue to oversee all areas of school operations, lead our strategic planning initiatives, and work directly with the board, families, and staff to fulfill the school’s mission and build on TMA’s successes.

As we shared in the fall, Rich is an experienced leader with more than a decade of experience in the Washington education, legal, and policy sectors. He was most recently the Chief of Operations and Policy at E.L. Haynes Public Charter School, overseeing the daily operations and budgets across three schools, and he served as its Acting Head of School with the departure of founder Jennie Niles. Rich also has classroom experience working with upper elementary and middle school students.

As we continue the school year, Rich will prioritize filling the Head of School position. He will also lead the school’s ongoing efforts to explore the possibility of replication.

Rich has my enthusiastic support and that of my colleagues on the Board. With your continued support of TMA and Rich’s immense experience and track record of proven success, we are confident that TMA will remain among the highest performing high schools in the city.

Thank you for your dedication to our students’ futures. Your support continues to have a profound impact on their lives.

With best wishes,

Kannon

Kannon Shanmugam
Chairman of the Board of Trustees

Tech Gurus Inspire Students to Take on STEM Careers

P1040071Thurgood Marshall Academy celebrated Computer Science Education Week, the largest education event in history, with tech-gurus Pat Yongpradit, Chief Academic Officer of Code.org, La Tara Harris, AT&T’s Area Manager of External and Legislative Affairs, and Marty Rodgers, Managing Director of Accenture’s Washington, DC office. During a school-wide assembly earlier this week, the team of executive-level professionals encouraged students to take advantage of the many computer science resources TMA has to offer. Now, with a check of $10,000 from Code.org, TMA can continue to expand its computer science efforts and buy new computer hardware for students.

P1040054To kick off the week, TMA joined 60 million students from across the country and participated in an “Hour of Code”, an international campaign that empowers students to learn the dynamics of computer coding and programming. U.S. Chief Technology Officer, Megan Smith, was in attendance and wowed students when she introduced them to the number of careers that are available for students interested in STEM. STEM careers continue to be among the fastest growing fields due to the speed and depth of technology. Ms. Smith admitted that her passion for technology started in high school where she had “a lot of amazing teachers and experiences that I’m thankful for. Science lab was mandatory and math was a requirement,” she said of her high school.

P1040068Ms. Smith’s high school experiences sound a lot like those of TMA students. In fact, TMA’s longstanding efforts to provide a high-quality, college-preparatory curriculum that incorporates computer science into all grade-level course work were evident during the assembly as students participated in a coding activity that most computer science majors embark on in college. TMA students have an advantage according to Ms. Harris of AT&T who said, “you all are really blessed. You have a lot of resources here, within these walls, and teachers that love you and want to see you go far.”

P1040067Mr. Yongpradit, who presented TMA with the check, went on to give students advice on how to land a competitive tech job, many of which start off at $70,000 a year. Aside from mentioning major steps like taking a computer science course and getting an internship, Mr. Yongpradit also encouraged students to go to college—reinforcing TMA’s unique college culture.

Erica Culbreath, TMA Biology teacher who submitted the winning Code.org application, noted that TMA’s college culture offers a wealth of options to help students prepare for a number of ventures after TMA. In an interview with EdScoop, she said “even though we’re a law-themed school, we don’t turn out a bunch of lawyers. It’s all about exposing students to different career paths.”

Story of an Ivy Leaguer Inspires Students to Pursue College

P1020799Early last week, TMA 11th and 12th graders spent the morning engaging with award-winning author Jeff Hobbs as he shared excerpts and passages from his New York Times bestseller “The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League.” The story documents the 30-year-life of his college roommate, Robert Peace, who was brutally murdered—a violent killing that Hobbs says was “pointless.” During an emotional question-and-answer segment with students, Hobbs, who calls Peace his “best friend,” recounted the testimonies of Peace’s loved ones whose reflections gave the book a raw truth that nurtured Peace’s love for learning and genuine nature.

As the question-and-answer segment progressed, TMA students discovered many common factors that they shared with Peace, a Black student who grew up in a poverty-stricken neighborhood outside of Newark, New Jersey. The area that Peace called ‘home’ was a city where college graduation rates are among the lowest in the country, much like the District’s Wards 7 and 8, where more than 85% of Thurgood Marshall Academy students reside. In spite of his zip code, however, Peace defied the odds, graduated high school, and attended Yale University. Since 2005, Thurgood Marshall Academy has graduated more than 500 alumni, all of whom were accepted to college, and in 2014, one student made history as Thurgood Marshall Academy’s first senior to be accepted into an Ivy League institution—Yale University, Peace’s alma mater.P1020802

Peace graduated after four years at Yale, where he double-majored in biochemistry and biophysics. “Aside from being Black, he was a typical Yale student. Rob [Peace] was smart. At Yale, not everyone will like a Black male who will debate you and win. He’d usually win,” said Hobbs. As Hobbs delved deeper into Peace’s story, students were surprised to learn that Yale University was, in fact, Peace’s ‘safety school.’ His first choice was Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

P1020795 “On behalf of myself and the student body, I want to thank you for sharing this inspiring read with the world,” said one student to Hobbs, who read the 400-page novel in three days. “It has taught us that in spite of someone’s background and situations that they can still aim for and go to college.” Each student received a copy of the book, which Hobbs later signed during a meet-and-greet with each student.

“I hope that all of you [students] will go home and read this book,” said Richard Pohlman, Executive Director of Thurgood Marshall Academy. After he thanked Hobbs for leading the dynamic discussion and visiting the school, he told students that “when you read someone’s story, you, somehow, feel connected to and can relate to a character. And that inspires a change in you.”

In addition to documenting Peace’s life, the story outlines common college experiences. This month, TMA seniors, most of whom are first generation college-goers, will begin the college application process. While the majority of students enter Thurgood Marshall Academy with reading and math skills below grade level, all graduating seniors are accepted to college and are earning degrees at higher rates than their peers nationally.

Meet Mr. Winder, TMA’s New Alumni Program and College Associate

ART_4438Torrance Winder, TMA’s new Alumni Program and College Associate, opens up about how the work TMA does to ensure our students have a college career is invaluable. He recently set a new school record by overseeing the College Success Foundation DC Achievers application process in which 88% of the junior class completed scholarship applications for up to $63,000.

In Part 1 of this Q&A Series, Mr. Winder acknowledges TMA’s mission to prepare students to succeed in college. He, along with the College Counseling Department, cultivates lasting relationships with alumni to support their journeys through college, graduate school, and full-time employment.

TMA: Tell us more about the importance of incorporating a college counseling and alumni programs option into a college preparatory school.

A: The support that our department gives to our students and alumni is a reflection of TMA’s knowledge of how important these resources are to our students and their future as college-goers. Throughout the year, we help seniors find and apply for scholarships, complete FASFA applications, enroll in college, and we chaperone all-expense-paid college tours. For juniors, we ensure that they’re all taking SAT prep courses, learning about the intense college application process, and attending college fairs. For every grade level, we provide resources that get the students not just thinking about college, but putting forth the effort that ensures they get into one. Because TMA understands that resources aren’t always readily available, our goal is to support students at school. Rather than having a need to go elsewhere to get support, at TMA, students figure out their next steps after graduation. Once they’re alumni, the department is just as invested in making sure that our students have a definite resource no matter what school, job, or program they join after high school.

TMA: What is the most popular trend that you see among students with regard to the college application process? How do you adjust to those trends and provide students with educated advice?

A: For juniors in particular, I’ve noticed a trend that I call an “instant-gratification-mindset.” While most of them realize that college is a lot closer than it was in the 9th grade year, some of them see the feat as a 2-year plan that’s further away. Therefore, they think they have more time than they actually do to get their grades up or to start college planning. But that’s where the College Counseling Department comes in at and that’s why college planning is actually part of the curriculum here at TMA. A lot of efforts that are voluntary at most schools are required at TMA. Juniors go to mandatory Law Firm Tutoring where they have a set amount of time to complete Homework assignments and other projects that are mandatory for the college planning process. We also host a mandatory Junior College Night, in which 11th graders and a parent, guardian or loved one, are introduced to the college application process. Just a few weeks ago, we coordinated a Case Studies Program activity that all juniors were required to participate in. Students acted as admissions counselors and accepted and denied applicants based on cognitive and non-cognitive factors that gave them a real-life look inside what it takes to get accepted to a college.

TMA: What are some of the challenges that you have with families and what techniques do you use to get them more involved in their student’s college journey?

A: Typically, challenges include a lack of parents’ inclusion within their child’s academic and collegiate search process. It is our responsibility as a department to introduce the college experience not only to students, but to their parents as well. College decisions are contingent on both the students’ and parents’ wisdom so both parties need to be informed about financing college, academic programs and majors, school culture, location, and ultimately if it’s a good fit. Many of our students are first-generation college-goers, so it’s increasingly important to introduce their families to this new journey since, whether directly or indirectly, they will all be part of it. This year, we have piloted a Family Engagement Program that works with the students’ families to give them an opportunity to become more invested and hands-on in their child’s college journey.

TMA: Being new to the TMA team, how do you plan to connect with alumni? A lot of your job involves stewarding TMA alumni and ensuring their seamless progression through college. How do you plan to show that you’re here for them?

A: The most meaningful part of my work is that the college team travels to see the students after they have made it to their college/university. While I may not have known many alumni while they were students, this element of the position gives me an extended opportunity to bond and connect with students while they’re at college. I’m a recent graduate, and because of that, I feel that I can relate with students, particularly those who are college freshmen and college seniors. Freshmen experience a lot of new changes, especially if they decide to go to school far from home. Sometimes the adjusting can be a bit overwhelming. I went to school about five hours away from home so I can understand that pressure of not being able to come home for small breaks or non-major holidays. But by visiting them, they get a piece of home right on campus. For seniors, I understand the value of internships and having an exit plan after graduation. For me, I took on a volunteer position that landed me at TMA. A year later, I was hired. Another part of my position is to share internship, job, and other opportunities with students on a regular basis. This is another touch-point that introduces me to students and helps to keep me connected. Social media is another resource that the College Counseling Department uses to stay in touch with alumni. By making myself present and visible on the TMA Alumni Facebook Page, I hope to create a comforting space for them to contact me through social media or at the school.

Next week, be sure to check out Part 2 in this Q&A Series where Mr. Winder discusses TMA’s college culture and personal accolades that make him feel well equipped to take on this new role as Alumni Program and College Associate.

Thurgood Marshall Academy Students Significantly Outperform the District on PARCC Exam

WASHINGTON – The PARCC scores released today show that Thurgood Marshall Academy (TMA) students continue to significantly outperform city averages and the school remains one of the best high schools in the District of Columbia.

PARCC is a Common Core aligned assessment of K-12 students in English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics.  The new assessment replaced the DC CAS in reading, composition and mathematics last year. Because it is more rigorous and presents a fuller picture of student learning, it is considered to be a better indicator of college and career readiness for students. Results are scored on a level of 1 to 5; a Level 3 indicates that students are “approaching” readiness, while a Level 4 indicates “attainment.”

TMA’s tenth graders participated in the Geometry and ELA II exams. In ELA, 56.6% earned Level 4 or higher and 77.1% of students earned a Level 3 or higher, outperforming the citywide averages of 25% (at or above Level 4) and 42% (at or above Level 3). In Geometry, 13.1% earned Level 4 and 59.5% of students earned a Level 3 or higher, outperforming the citywide averages of 10% (at or above Level 4) and 34% (at or above Level 3). Additionally, more than 58% of students labeled as “economically disadvantaged” scored at or above a 4 in ELA, as compared with the city average of 16.5%.

“We are truly proud of our students, our teachers, and our staff. This is a testament to all of their hard work,” said Richard Pohlman, TMA’s Interim Executive Director. “While the test indicates that a great number of our students are on track to graduate college ready, our staff and faculty continue to focus on ensuring that all of our students have the tools necessary to succeed in college and beyond.”

When the District announced the transition to PARCC in 2011, TMA took a number of steps to prepare, including aligning curriculum, instruction, and assessments with the new, more rigorous Common Core standards. “Our leadership, faculty, and staff have worked to revise our curriculum to meet the demands of the common core state standards,” said Kena Allison, the school’s Interim Head of School who has also served as a TMA science teacher and instructional coach for several years. “We continue to work diligently to make sure our students are ready for the rigors of a college education.”

PARCC 2015 Test Results

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More information about PARCC can be found at www.osse.dc.gov/parcc.

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About Thurgood Marshall Academy: Founded in 2001, Thurgood Marshall Academy’s mission is to prepare students to succeed in college and actively engage in our democratic society. Thurgood Marshall Academy is an open enrollment public charter high school in Ward 8’s Anacostia. It is one of the highest performing non-selective high schools in the District and serves 400 students. The school upholds Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall’s legacy of equal opportunity through its commitment to providing an excellent education for all students.

Clubs In Action: The Green Club

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Ms. Lee (center) introduces students to the Green Club during TMA’s annual Club’s Fair.

Since the beginning of the school year, the Green Club has organized three Farm Stands, a wholesale event where faculty, staff, and the community can buy fresh fruits and vegetables that were grown at TMA’s on-site garden. The Green Club is one of the oldest clubs at TMA, established in 2007, and is advised by Ms. Lee, a Social Studies teacher with a passion for all-things-green. She works alongside the Green Club Coordinator to introduce students to the dynamics of maintaining a healthy garden.

At the heart of TMA’s Green Club, the garden serves two purposes:

  • To teach students strategies for well-being through healthy food choices, nutritional literacy, and physical education
  • To provide a location for garden-based lessons that support academic achievement

“The Green Club gives people a chance to see how eating healthy looks,” said 12th-grader George Marshall, who is a Green Club veteran. Serving on the club for the past four years, Marshall often encourages his mother to make better cooking choices. “I tell my mom to use fresh fruits and vegetables instead of factory foods. She hasn’t been able to attend a Farm Stand yet, but I always take produce home so that she will have better and healthier options to cook with,” said Marshall.

The Farm Stand is open to the public every Thursday after school.

Students plant and harvest year-round with hopes to use the garden as a longstanding resource to combat unhealthy eating choices in the Anacostia area.

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A member of the Green Club leads a Garden Tour.

The Green Club gives Marshall and the community access to fresh crops during every season. Taking a tour of the TMA garden would take a ‘tourist’ through weeds that uncover sun gold cherry tomatoes, yellow pear tomatoes, bell peppers, swiss chard, kale, okra, beets, chives, thyme, sage and other herbs, string beans, butternut squash, tomatoes, carrots, sorrel, and even flowers to create bouquets.

Next month, the club and a few volunteers will work together to ‘winterize’ the garden and get it ready for the colder months so that all of the plants, fruits and veggies will be able to survive throughout the winter. Marshall is looking forward to the all-hands-on-deck process that includes planting, building hoop houses, pruning, and mulching. “The Green Club doesn’t just encourage students to eat healthier, but it’s also an opportunity for all students to pitch in and be involved in maintaining the garden, which takes a lot of work and commitment,” said Marshall.

The Green Club also leads cooking demonstrations that showcase their favorite healthy meals. Marshall and the Green Club have made a number of dishes including roasted peppers, butternut squash soup (Marshall’s all-time favorite), and fruit pies. Homemade pasta sauce is next on the menu as the students make use of the remaining roma tomatoes.