Through school gardening, students are engaged in nature and hands-on learning about where and how food is grown. Lessons across the curriculum can be linked to gardens to provide students the opportunity to learn difficult concepts using visual and real-life situations. Students that are engaged in school gardens are likely to take ownership and pride in what they grow, which creates a culture of students that are eager to grow and try a greater variety of fruits and vegetables. Gardens help children build social skills and can be used to teach them to work cooperatively in group situations. Build a healthier school environment for your students and become a garden champion for your school. Plant the seed and get your school involved in gardening!
- Start small with a garden activity in the classroom:
- Read the blog on How to Start a School Garden for tips on planning and implementing a successful school gardening program.
- Have students create morning announcements about the school garden and encourage others to try new and healthy foods.
- Use gardening to introduce healthy behaviors, such as drinking water, healthy eating and physical activity by planting seeds and comparing plant needs to those of humans for survival.
- Plan a tour of the school garden for each grade at the school, led by “student farmers” that play an active role in the garden.
- Get the whole school involved by assigning each grade a job in the garden. For example, the Kindergarten can start seeds using the Garden in a Glove project and selecting the strongest seedlings from each glove to plant in the garden. Then, each grade could be assigned a different task to help maintain the garden, track the growth, harvest, and prepare it for a tasting.
- Provide each grade with a window box or other container garden to plant and maintain. Have each grade grow something different, so that there would be a variety of different items for students to sample in the garden.
- Engage the school cafeteria staff in the garden by allowing them to help select one item to grow in the garden and plant enough that of that item to have a harvest tasting in the cafeteria.
- Encourage parents to get involved in the school garden. Plan times that parents can come to the school and help with planting, weeding and harvesting.