Implemented just a few years ago; a school run garden program in the Waterloo region has grown so popular that requests caused the program runners to create a formal curriculum for other educators to use. The Waterloo Region School Food Garden (WRSFG) program has been key in establishing and expanding more than two dozen food gardens in elementary and secondary schools since 2017. “We think garden-based learning is an incredible opportunity for students and communities,” program coordinator Allison Eady said.
It is a wonderful thing to get kids outdoors and to help them get their hands dirty with genuine work; some teachers use them in their environmental studies classes, science classes, and even art classes can use them. The gardens also give volunteer opportunities for students in the summer months where they can help maintain the gardens and prep them for the fall; helping them learn the importance and impact of community involvement.
WRSFG have put out a survey asking educators for feedback on the curriculum. Eady said feedback so far points to having more resources for older students and how to weave garden-based lessons into different subjects like art, math and science. She hopes to meet with teachers in the coming weeks to start brainstorming ideas and resources. And while the WRSFG acts as a facilitator to schools and educators interested in building a garden in their school by providing the funds and resources they need, Eady said teachers who are interested in getting a garden can start by having a conversation with their school. Finding an ideal spot for the garden, whether indoors or outdoors, also goes a long way.
Read more about the WRSFG in your Good News Story of the Day here. Here’s to more kids learning how to grow their own garden, a skill that has fallen out of practice, and being able to better appreciate being outdoors.
Story and Image from CBC.