- Make a Difference To Children Month
Make a Difference To Children Month
Gardening awareness must start a young age.
When children frequent grocery stores with their parents, they may think 'This food comes from the back room;' and, while they aren't wrong at the time, it's hard to explain to children how the food got to the grocery store - unless agriculture teachers educate children at an early age about food production.
Elementary and middle schools are starting school garden programs to teach kids how food gets from the ground to our plates; and while this is important, we as educators, must go beyond classroom lectures. We must teach children how to grow their own food and the importance of crop protection.
Starting a school gardening program
There are a few steps involved in starting a classroom garden. For starters, educators will need approval from school administrators and will possibly require funding for the program. (This may be done through outreach and donations from the community.) Next, a garden site will need to be obtained or designed for the growing area - on campus would be better, as parents will not want their kids to leave school grounds unless on a field trip. Lastly, the school garden coordinator will need to plan which plants to grow each season; and prepare to teach about garden maintenance and how foods are made.
Teachers are planting knowledge.
When kids can visually see the plants they are growing sprout to life, they become motivated to eat the healthy foods that they, themselves, have planted in the field. In addition to eating healthier, kids will become more excited to return to school the next day to learn about agriculture.
Three years after starting a school garden, teachers collaborating with the REAL School Garden Program reported a 12-15% increase in standardized test scores from students.
These results show that students are not just planting; but they are learning!
Other reasons to grow at school
Schools with a gardening program have found that kids actually want to be outside. They have a new appreciation for the foods that are on their plates and they understand the science behind what they eat.
Gardening is a great way for kids to get their hands dirty, spend time outside in a fun atmosphere and get physically fit. As an added bonus, early childhood gardeners can provide produce to other children in-need through service programs.
School Garden Partnership
Schools with gardening programs can receive discounted prices on Deerbusters deer fencing when they call headquarters at 888-422-3337.
Make a Difference To Children Month runs annually in July.