There is no doubt that school gardens are beneficial for children, their families, and their communities. School gardens increase physical activity, food literacy, self-esteem, connection to community through volunteerism, increased food access, and a sense of pride and accomplishment. But when teachers are already tight on time when it comes to planning their year, week, and day, the idea of integrating a whole new curriculum can be daunting and time consuming.
Next Steps: There are a few approaches to alleviating these curriculum stressors that the WCG School Garden Program is currently working on:
1. Deconstruct the WCG curriculum so that it is not a single year-long, 400-page document, but instead single lesson plans, searchable by curriculum standards.
2. Bring more volunteers into the classroom! Find parents, volunteers, and master gardeners who have the time to dedicate to going into a classroom once a week or twice a month for a full school year, train volunteers, and partner them with an interested classroom.
If you are interested in volunteering in 2015 with our teachers and masters gardeners in one of our school gardens, please contact Felecia at firstname.lastname@example.org or 801.359.2658 x 11.
Stay tuned for Part 3 of this story, posted next Tuesday.