Growing Food Education in Schools!

Growing Food Education In Schools!

Wed 30 Jan 2013

Story by The Food Revolution Team

Last Thursday we were joined by three amazing garden educators and one community question author for a live conversation about growing and sustaining school gardens in our first co-hosted hangout with the Edible Schoolyard Project.

Our participants answered questions from both of our teams as well as the wider community on how they have gotten their programs up and running, what it takes to sustain them and the type of learning that happens in the garden.

It was an incredibly inspiring conversation lead by the passion of three successful programs ranging from California to Oregon to West Virginia.

Highlights from the live conversation

We have learned just as much as the children have! The key is constant learning, and we have a lot of open minds!

-Anne Lupo, North Elementary, Morgan Town, West Virginia

There is so much that your community has to offer if you know how to access it. Use your community and get creative.

–Julia Cotts, Garden School Foundation, LA, California

Try and build a network of support in your city. There is the potential for support out there but accessing it is a big job. Asking people for support, for money, is intimidating for a lot of people—but the thing about it is that everyone supports what we are doing. There are very few people who don’t see the extraordinary value in what we are doing- in gardens for kids.

-Julia Cotts, Garden School Foundation, LA, California

The students enjoy the lessons so much! It really puts the learning in their hands and they get to come up with the ideas and say ‘What if we did this and what if we did that?’ It really gives them the responsibility for their learning.

–Melissa Fornash, North Elementary, Morgan Town, West Virginia

It is a difficult dance at times working with the district and working with nutrition services—our programs do require a bit of being a thorn in the side of the public school system or the city or whomever to advocate for these programs and their presence in public schools.

-Sarah Sullivan, Abernethy School, Portland, Oregon

From a teacher’s point of view- you don’t have to make the garden extra. It doesn’t have to be another thing you have to do. You just incorporate it. You can incorporate so many common core standards in the garden just instead of opening a textbook the kids get to go outside.

–Melissa Fornash, North Elementary, Morgan Town, West Virginia

The goal is to make whatever food you grow visible in the cafeteria. Celebrate every day that the kids have had a hand in growing that!

–Sarah Sullivan, Abernethy School.

If you missed the conversation you can catch up with this recap from the Edible Schoolyard Project or watch it again on our YouTube channel.

We ended our conversation by hearing about a favourite lesson from each program. Julia Cotts spoke about ABC garden books and ABC scavenger hunts with younger children at the Garden School Foundation, Lara Vanhorn from mentioned vermicomposting with worms for the kindergarteners and Melissa Fornash said teaching homonyms in the garden at North Elementary, and Sarah Sullivan ended describing the history of Oregon and the journey of Louis and Clark through food at Abernethy. For more inspiring ideas and resources for garden based learning, check out the Edible Schoolyard resource library, and of course keep the conversation going over social media using #growingfooded.

You can also catch up on all of our hangouts by watching some of the highlights in this inspiring montage and get ready for more live online conversations in 2013!

The Food Revolution Team


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