Food is central to our lives, and learning about the details behind food and the growing, harvesting and eating of food provides numerous opportunities for learning. The Center for Ecoliteracy recognizes the essential role gardens play in educating us about our world and has now made available (in collaboration with Life Lab Science Program) a free, downloadable copy of their guide to starting a gardening program in schools. Getting Started: A Guide to Creating School Gardens as Outdoor Classrooms offers a basic guide to all the components necessary for a successful school garden program. It covers issues such as:
- Engaging kids and nurturing their curiosity and reverence.
- Connecting the garden to the school's curriculum.
- Selecting and preparing the site.
- Dealing with challenges such as funding, vandalism and holidays.
- Involving the community.
If you need more proof of the central role growing food can play in education, then read our interviews with two of our M.Ed. students/grads, Becky Morgan, Executive Director of BUGS (Boise Urban Garden School), and Holly Clark, of the Earth and Spirit Gardens Biodynamic Learning Cooperative. They have both found success integrating food, gardening and dynamic, relevant, interdisciplinary education.
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