We are firm believers that school gardens are an amazing classroom tool with endless benefits for students that will extend beyond the classroom and long into their adult lives. Here are five reasons we love school gardens:
1. Education – School gardens are outdoor classrooms and serve as living laboratories for any subject. Lots of activities can be taught in the garden, and you don’t necessarily need fancy tools to carry out lessons! You don’t need to be an avid seasoned gardener to use rulers to measure things, record changes, or
2. Healthy Food – Students who participate in school gardens are more likely to try and even have increased preference for healthy fruits and veggies. There’s nothing like pulling out a carrot for the first time, biting into a juicy tomato, or smelling basil to get a kid excited about eating and cooking. We know it can take multiple times of trying a food for a kid to like or prefer eating it, so keep harvesting and sampling!
3. Environment – A school garden is a much-needed green space in urban environments, giving students an opportunity to spend time outdoors. Visiting the garden can lead to an increased appreciation for the environment. Gardens also provide a place of rest, healing, and meditation, which leads to improve mental health. With the stress of testing in schools these days, gardens can serve as an oasis and welcome change of scenery.
4. Social – No surprise here! School gardens build important life-long social skills and teach responsibility, communication, teamwork, ownership, and leadership. Gardens also foster a sense of community, bringing parents, teachers, students, and community members together.
5. Sensory – Around every corner, there’s something new to touch, taste, smell, hear, and see. Gardens are full of unique sensory experiences that are hard to duplicate indoors. Even with all the sensory stimulation, spending time in green settings such as gardens is actually directly linked to alleviating ADHD symptoms in children.
These are just a few of the benefits of school gardens and why we believe they are an important and amazing tool for classroom learning. If you’d like to learn more about how to start (or revive!) and sustain a school garden, register for our upcoming School Garden Leadership Training on September 14 & 15.