This past June, Children’s Garden School turned 35! I wish I could say CGS celebrated it’s 35th birthday, but with a nearly empty school and COVID restrictions in full force, it wasn’t the right time to party. We didn’t, however, want this milestone to go by without acknowledgment, so we have decided that our 36th year will become one of celebration and fun.
To kick off our birthday year I thought it seemed an appropriate time to share a little Children’s Garden history with you, starting with the meaning behind our name. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Oscar Wilde’s fable “The Selfish Giant” let me start by giving you a brief synopsis of the story.
The children love to play in the Giant’s garden, where the grass is soft and green, the flowers stand tall like stars, the birds sing sweetly in the trees and the peach trees blossom in the spring and bear fruit in the fall. The Giant is selfish and does not want to share his garden, so he builds a tall wall around it, keeping the children out. Once the children are gone, spring stops coming to the garden; the birds stop singing and the trees forget to blossom. Snow and Frost, North Wind and Hail come to stay and never leave. It becomes a dismal place. When the children eventually find a hole in the wall and crawl back into the garden, the Giant realizes how selfish he has been, and he welcomes them back. He begins to interact and play with the children and before long spring returns to the garden. Many years pass and when he becomes too old to go out and play with the children he sits at his window and watches them and all the while thinks to himself “I have many beautiful flowers in my garden, but the children are the most beautiful flowers of all”!
After reading the story, that one sentence made a lasting impression and in 1986 “Children’s Garden” was born. It seemed like the perfect name for the kind of school that was envisioned. After 35 years I can say without hesitation that indeed the most beautiful flowers in our garden are the children. Never were we made more aware of this fact than during the last two school years of lock-downs when we so desperately missed the children’s on site presence. They amaze us every day with their kindness and strength of character, their capabilities and sense of wonder, their dedication and spirit.
Over the past 35 years, thousands of children have called Children’s Garden School, or CGS, their school and their home away from home. They have all been unique and special in their own way and have left lasting impressions on their teachers and their Principal. We have the children to thank for bringing the joy of sunshine and spring into our lives on a daily basis. No matter what the weather outside, inside the school the birds like to sing and the trees remember to blossom and wonderful things start to grow, and all thanks to the children.
We are so happy to have them back in the school building and look forward to our Anniversary year. It is a great time to reflect on all the accomplishments of the past 35 years, knowing that none of it would have been possible without the children.
Thank you all for being part of this special community!