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A Secret Staircase, a Park, an Orchard, and 2nd Graders

I don’t get to teach as much as I used to, so when I do, I soak up every moment! Two weeks ago I got to teach 2nd graders at a school near my house.  The BTA’s two-part pedestrian safety curriculum ends with a walk in the neighborhood.

This particular walk felt like the best ever thanks to beautiful weather and really fun things within walking distance of the school.



We started out with the classroom teacher, me, 28 2nd graders, and a parent volunteer. The kids crossed several streets in pairs and learned to be “Driveway Detectives” to determine if it’s save to cross behind a parked car.

“Look! There’s a park!” the students yelled as we rounded a corner. “Can we play?”  After a quick consultation with the classroom teacher, the kids raced onto the play structure to swing, climb, and laugh for 3 minutes.

“I didn’t know this staircase was here,” said one student as we climbed down the Alameda ridge.

At the bottom of the stairs, we made our way into a new community orchard.

“What kind of trees are those?”

“Fruit trees.”

“Where is the fruit?”

“Its coming. We may have to wait a year or two, but by the time your kids take this class, these will be big trees shading the path and producing buckets and buckets of fruit!”

A few minutes later we were at the school. “Let’s practice crossing the street as a group,” I say to the teacher. “Do you ever take your kids on walking field trips?”

“No,” she replied with a smile, “but now I can!”

I love taking kids on walks! As I walked home on that beautiful, sunny Friday afternoon, I thought, “This is the best day ever.

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