School gardens have the potential to transform learning experiences for students in pre K through high school. The school garden is a teaching tool enabling teachers across the curriculum to engage students in math, science, art, languages and reading.
Learning how to grow to fresh food also reinforces nutrition, health and wellness guidelines. Why do kids start liking kale? The hands-on experience pays in nutrition dividends. That’s the kale they planted, observed growing, and nurtured. A sense of pride and ownership makes that vegetable suddenly more appealing.
School gardens also enhance social and emotional development. Opportunities for team building, cooperation, independence, work ethics and leadership are part of the school garden experience. Special needs students, as well as honors students, are rewarded in the act of growing of food. Whether the lessons take place on the windowsill of the classroom or outside in the school’s courtyard, the school garden makes learning enjoyable.
How to get started? How to bring your school garden activities to the next level? Consider the resources linked here: curriculum, grant and funding resources as well as local examples of school gardens in the Suffolk School Garden Network.
Eastport's Green Dream Garden was started in 2013 by science educator Maria Plitt.
The Good Ground School & Community Garden, at the Hampton Bays Middle School, provides a working model of a successful joint school and community effort.
The Quogue Elementary School has the good fortune to have a Master Gardener on its staff. Ginger Anderson, of Westhampton Beach, completed her training in June, 2020,
Last updated April 27, 2021