Laning’s Gingerbread Garden Wins Ribbons


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Laning Sensory GingerbreadEvery year since 1991, the Frelinghuysen Arboretum over in Morris County has hosted a “Gingerbread Wonderland” contest open to kids, families and schools. This year, there was an optional “green” theme to the event, and Laning Avenue Elementary School students stepped up to the challenge.
The Laning students, many of whom were from its special education community, used the school’s outdoor sensory garden as their inspiration. Students from pre-K to fourth grade who enjoy the sensory garden were invited to stop in to Laning’s special ed wing to contribute to the project. One Laning aide even created “on the go” kits to take to other rooms so that students could work on elements of the design when they had a break. 
“Ice cream cones that have been cut down as planters are the main feature of our Ginger Garden,”says Diane Conboy, M.S., CCC-SLD, a Laning special services professional who also recently helped to create the sensory rooms at Laning and H.B. Whitehorne Middle School. “The students filled them with a variety of candy to represent flowers or vegetables. One student even created our rain barrel and compost tumbler.”
When the judging was held this past weekend, Laning’s entry won a participation ribbon and a special green ribbon for participating in the theme.  “This was a successful project by all measures,” says Conboy. “We are planning to enter again next year and increase student participation. Maybe even have a gingerbread makers space.”

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected]


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