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Nicholas Center Tends School Gardens

It all started last spring when Melissa Slobin, Speech teacher and Heather Botelho, Life Skills teacher expressed interest in the newly installed vegetable garden at the Manhasset Secondary School. The Life Skills students came out to the garden to weed and plant tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers once a week during fourth period speech class. After the school year ended many of the students enrolled in Nicholas Center for Autism’s Employment and Social Skills Summer Program located in Port Washington.

Allison Schear, Director of the Summer Program, and Planet Manhasset agreed to a 6-week gardening program at the Manhasset Secondary School. About 15 students and teachers came over twice a week to water, weed and tend to the garden. Thanks to their effort the harvest was successful and shared with a local food bank. Everyone enjoyed it so much (in fact it was their favorite summer activity) that they voted to return again next summer.

Three school vegetable gardens are the initiative of the SCA ‘s Planet Manhasset, and was brought to fruition by the garden committee comprised of parents: Merilyn Donnelly and Connie Parsons, Manhasset High School, Iliza Bartels, Manhasset Middle School, Zari Ginsburg, Shelter Rock Elementary  and Angela Classi, Munsey Park Elementary.

Please visit the website,, for future volunteer opportunities.