Nearly one-third of U.S. children are obese or overweight. What’s more, public health experts are warning that this generation of youth may be the first to live shorter lives than their parents.

Elementary and secondary schools nationwide are taking this cause into their own hands and implementing tactics that focus on healthier school lunch plans, more in-depth nutritional education and fitness over athleticism in physical education classes. One particular tactic has been gaining in popularity recently and shows no signs of slowing down: Through private funding, collaborations with local farmers and support from the current administration, many schools are finding success in a hands-on learning approach through school-sponsored gardens.

The theory behind these gardens is that in providing both experiential nutrition education and a source of fresh produce to be used in school-provided lunches and snacks, students can benefit from healthier diets and eating habits.

But that’s not all. School gardens also have shown to provide the opportunity for students to learn about responsibility, biology and environmentalism. In fact, recent studies have found that students who participated in school gardening activities scored significantly higher on science achievement tests compared to students who had no garden-based learning experiences.

If implementing a garden at your school sounds like an intriguing way to promote nutrition and create better stewards of the environment, consider these five tips for establishing your own garden today:

  1. Get everyone on board
    Perhaps the idea of a school garden already fits in with existing nutrition or science curricula or your school recently received grant money from the HealthierUS or Let’s Move programs. Or, maybe your school has yet to take on a healthful approach to education and is looking to get started. No matter the educational or health motives, propose the idea of a school garden to administration, teachers, parents and even students, stressing the potential benefits to everyone involved. Gardens are very much a community effort and aren’t likely to grow unless the entire school gets behind the idea. Consider holding stakeholder forums to discuss garden ideas in a collaborative environment—creatively invite those to participate by sending an invitation with a fun giveaway like a leaf-shaped pencil for students or a Palm Peel-It vegetable peeler for adults.
  2. Establish a budget that works
    The thing about school gardens is that they are scalable and can fit practically any budget—from a bean sprout per student to grow inside the classroom, to a few tomato plants just off the playground, to a full-on sustainable food source for the cafeteria. Start the process by planning for the type of garden—in doors, per student, per class, outdoors, etc.—and work out from there to assess the tools and materials needed, such as shovels, planters, potting soil or dirt, seeds or seedlings, fertilizer, hardware, cloth and more. Supplies can be purchased and used as a whole, or each class or grade can be responsible for a certain aspect of the garden. Equip each teacher with tools like a Garden Tool and Tote for maximum upkeep efficiency. Don’t forget that gardens make great community partner opportunities, too. Consider approaching local farms, hardware stores or landscape companies to donate materials and advice in-kind.
  3. Build a curriculum
    Even if a school garden is created with the primary intention of supplying fresh produce to the lunch room, there should still be an educational link for students to benefit from and not just in the areas of health and science. Brainstorm ways to incorporate school gardens across different classes—language arts students can sit by the garden and journal while art students can sketch plants or press the blooms. For more ideas, sites like LifeLab, Kids Gardening and Gardening with Children offer extensive groupings of lesson plans and classroom ideas for school gardening.
  4. Incite excitement
    Finally, get excited! School gardens in this case are a fun, new learning experience and a great way to build pride among students, parents and teachers. Use your school garden as another way to bring everyone together for a school-wide parent or community event by holding a kick-off picnic at the beginning of a growing season or a harvest festival in the fall. Send everyone home with a garden fact sheet outlining the efforts and results of the garden each year and a fun souvenir like our Salsa or Ratatouille Grow Kits or a Veggie Brush to continue the garden experience at home.

With the right planning, experiential education through school gardens can be quite successful for students and schools alike, all you have to do is get growing!

Baertlein, Lisa. “U.S. Schools Add Fresh Food without Busting Budgets | Reuters.” Business & Financial News, Breaking US & International News | Reuters.com. 07 May 2010. Web. 26 July 2010.

Bennett, Lisa. “The School Garden Debate: To Weep or Reap? | Center for Ecoliteracy.” Education for Sustainability | Center for Ecoliteracy. Web. 27 July 2010.

Share:    FacebookFacebook   TwitterTwitter

September
MonthlyWeeklyDaily
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Month
Baby Safety Month
Backpack Safety America Month
Be Kind to Editors & Writers Month
Christmas Seal campaign Kick-off Month
College Savings Month
Fall Hat Month
Go Wild During California Wild Rice Month
Great American Low-Cholesterol, Low-fat Pizza Bake Month
Gynecology Cancer Awareness Month
International Self-Awareness Month
International Strategic Thinking Month
Library Card Sign-Up Month
National Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery Month
Menopause Awareness Month
Million Minute Family Challenge
Mold Awareness Month
National Biscuit Month
National Chicken Month
National Civics Awareness Month
National Coupon Month
National 5-A-Day Month
National Honey Month
National Mushroom Month
National Osteopathic Medicine Month
National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
National Pediculosis Prevention Month
National Piano Month
National Potato Month
National Preparedness Month
National Rice Month
National Skin Care Awareness Month
Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month
Reunion Planning Month
Sea Cadet Month
September  is Healthy Aging Month
Shameless Promotion Month
Southern Gospel Music Month
Sports and Home Eye Health & Safety Month
Subliminal Communication Month
United Planet Month
Update Your Resume Month
National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept 15 – Oct 15)

 

National Childhood Injury Prevention Week: 1-7
Self-University Week: 1-7
National Waffle Week: 5-11
Suicide Prevention Week: 5-11
National Payroll Week: 6-10
Play Days: 7-11
National Assisted Living Week: 12-18
National Constitution Center Constitution Week: 12-18
National Historically Black Colleges & Universities Week: 12-18
Line Dance Week: 13-18
Substitute Teacher Appreciation Week: 13-17
National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness: 14-20
Balance Awareness Week: 19-25
Build a Better Image Week: 19-25
Child Passenger Safety Week: 19-25
Deaf Awareness Week: 19-25
National Clean Hands Week: 19-25
National Farm & Ranch Safety and Health Week: 19-25
Prostate Cancer Awareness Week: 19-25
National Rehabilitation Awareness Celebration: 19-25
National Singles Week: 19-25
Tolkien Week: 19-25
Turn Off Your TV Week: 19-25
National Love Your Files Week: 20-24
Pollution Prevention Week: 20-26
American Massage Therapy Week: 23-26
National Adult Immunization Awareness Week: 26-10/2
National Keep Kids Creative Week: 26-10/2
National Chimney Safety Week: 26-10/2
Banned Book Week – Celebrating the Freedom to Read: 27-10/2
Remember to Register to Vote Week: 27-10/2

 

1: Building and Code Staff Appreciation Day
1: Bison-Ten-Yell (Bicentennial ) Day
1: Chicken Boy’s Day
1: Emma M. Nutt Day
2: V-J Day
4: Newspaper Carrier Day
5: Be Late for Something Day
6: Labor Day
3: Toys Tips Executive Toy Test
4: Newspaper Carrier Day
7: Another Look Unlimited Day
7: Google Commemoration Day
7: Grandma Moses Day
7: “Neither Snow nor Rain” Day
8: International Literacy Day
9: Wonderful Weirdoes Day
9: Rosh Hashanah
10: Swap Ideas Day
11: National Feel the Love Day
11: Libraries Remember Day
11: Patriot Day
11: Remember Freedom Day
12: National Grandparent’s Day
12: Video Games Day
13: National Boss/Employee Exchange Day
13: International Chocolate Day
15: International Day of Democracy
16: Anne Bradstreet Day
16: International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer
16: Trail of Tears Commemoration Day
17: National POW/MIA Recognition Day
17: Citizenship Day
17: Constitution Day
17: Pledge Across America Day
18: Air Force Birthday
18: International Coastal Cleanup Day
18: World Water Monitoring Day
18: International Eat an Apple Day
18: Big Whopper Liar Day
18: Responsible Dog Ownership Day
18: Chiropractic Founders Day
19: Wife Appreciation Day
19: Talk Like a Pirate Day
20: National Women Road Warrior Day
21: International Day of Peace
22: American Business Women’s Day
22: Dear Diary Day
22: Elephant Appreciation Day
22: Fish Amnesty Day
22: Hobbit Day
22: National White Chocolate Day
24: Hug a Vegetarian Day
24: Punctuation Day
25: Family Health and Fitness Day USA
25: R.E.A.D. in America Day
25: National Hunting and Fishing Day
25: National One-Hit Wonder Day
25: National Public Lands Day
25: National Museum Day
26: National Good Neighbor Day
26: Johnny Appleseed Day
26: Gold Star Mother’s Day
27: Ancestor Appreciation Day
27: Family Day or Family Table Day
27: World Tourism Day
27: World Heart Day
28: Fish Tank Floorshow Night
28: World Maritime Day
29: National Women’s Health & Fitness Day
29: National Attend Your Grandchild’s Birth Day
29: VFW Day
October
MonthlyWeeklyDaily
Adopt-a-Shelter-Animal Month
Antidepressant Death Awareness Month
Celebrate Sun Dried Tomatoes Month
Celiac Sprue Awareness Month
Celebrate the Bilingual Child Month
Children’s Magazine Month
Christmas Seal Campaign (10/1-12/31)
Church Safety and Security Month
Class Reunion Month
Diversity Awareness
Domestic Violence Awareness
Eat Better, Eat Together Month
Energy Management is a Family Affair – Improve your Home Month (10/1-3/31/08)
Gay & Lesbian History Month
German-American Heritage Month
Go Hog Wild – Eat Country Ham
Halloween Safety Month
Head Start Awareness Month
International Starman Month
International Strategic Planning Month
Long Term Care Planning Month
Lupus Awareness Month
National Animal Safety and Protection Month
National Bake and Decorate Month
National Book
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
National Canine Good Health Month
National Caramel Month
National Chili Month
National Chiropractic Month
National Communicate with Your Kids Month
National Construction Toy Month
National Cookie Month
National Crime Prevention Month
National Dental Hygiene
National Depression Education & Awareness Month
National Disability Employment Awareness Month
National Domestic Violence Awareness Month
National Down Syndrome Month
National Ergonomics Month
National “Gain the Inside Advantage” Month
National Go on a Field Trip Month
National Liver Awareness Month
National Medical Librarian Month
National Orthodontic Health Month
National Pajama Month
National Physical Therapy
National Popcorn Popping Month
National Reading Group Month
National Roller Skating Month
National RSV Awareness Month
National Sarcastics Awareness Month
National Seafood Month
National Spina Bifida Awareness Month
National Work and Family Month
National Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Awareness Month
Organize your Medical Information Month
Octoberfest
Photographer Appreciation Month
Polish American Heritage Month
Positive Attitude Month
Rett Syndrome Awareness Month
Right Brainers Rule Month
Self-Promotion Month
Spinach Lovers Month
Talk About Prescriptions Month
Vegetarian Month
Wishbones for Pets Month
Women’s Small Business MonthWorkplace Politics Month
The Last week to register to vote in US general elections: 1-7
California Ride Share Week: 1-5
Financial Planning Week: 1-7
National Work from Home Week: 1-7
Spinning & Weaving Week: 1-7
National 4-H Week: 2-8
No Salt Week: 2-9
Customer Service Week: 3-7
World Space Week: 4-10
National Newspaper Week: 6-13
Physicians Assistant Week: 6-12
Emergency Nurses Week: 7-13
Fire Prevention Week: 7-13
Home-Based Business Week: 7-13
The Magic of Differences Week: 7-13
Mental Illness Awareness Week: 7-13
Mystery Series Week: 7-13
National Carry A Tune Week: 7-13
National Metric Week: 7-13
Nuclear Medicine Week: 7-13
Squirrel Appreciation Week: 7-13
Improve Your Home Office Week: 8-12
Hepatitis Awareness Week: 14-20
National Chestnut Week: 14-20
National School Lunch
Build Your Business with Business Cards Week: 14-20
Getting the World to Beat a Path to Your Door Week: 14-20
International Credit Union Week: 14-20
National Veterinary Technician Week: 14-20
Teen Read Week: 14-20
World Rainforest Week: 14-20
Freedom From Bullies At Work Week: 15-21
National Businesswomen’s Week: 15-19
National Health Education Week: 15-19
YMCA Week without Violence: 15-21
National Infection Prevention Week: 16-20
Celebrate Micro Small and Home Business Week: 16-22
Food and Drug Interaction Education and Awareness Week: 17-24
Kids Care Week: 21-27
National Character Counts Week: 21-27
National Food Bank Week: 21-27
National Forest Products Week: 21-27
National Massage Therapy Week: 21-27
National School Bus Safety Week: 21-27
Pastoral Care Week: 21-27
Synergy Week International: 21-27
Celebrate Job Loss Week: 23-27
Disarmament Week: 24-30
Prescription Errors Education & Awareness Week: 24-31
Give Wildlife a Break Week: 10/29-11/3
1:  Fire Pup Day
1:  International Day of Older Persons
1:  National Diversity Day
1:  Simchat Torah
1:  World Smile Day
1:  World Vegetarian Day
1:  National Lace Day
2:  Change A Light Day
2:  Guardian Angels Day
2:  International Day of Non-violence
2:  Inter-American Water Day
2:  Phileas Fogg’s Wager Day
2:  National Custodial Workers Day
2:  Techie’s Day
2:  World Card Making Day
2:  World Farm Animals Day
3:  Alternative Fuel Day
3:  Blessing of the Fishing Fleet
3:  Country Inn, Bed and Breakfast Day
3:  Intergeneration Day
3:  World Communion Day
4:  Ten-Four Day
4:  Child Health Day
4:  Improve Your Office Day
4:  World Habitat Day
5:  World Teachers Day
6:  Ecological Debt Day
6:  Jackie Mayer Rehab Day
6:  Mad Hatter Day
6:  National German-American Day
6:  Balloons Around The World
8:  Lee’s National Denim Day
8:  Alvin C. York Day
8:  National Depression Screening Day
8:  National Pierogy Day
9:  Leif Erikson Day
9:  Universal Music Day
9:  World Post Day
9:  National Pro-Life Cupcake Day
10:  International Newspaper Carrier Day
10:  National Cake Decorating Day
10:  Naval Academy Day
10:  Clergy Appreciation Day (or Pastor Appreciation Day or Ministry Appreciation Day)
10:  World Mental Health Day
11:  Columbus Day
11:  General Pulaski Memorial Day
11:  International African Diaspora Day
11:  National Coming Out Day
11:  Simchat Torah
11:  National Kick Butt Day
11:  Native Americans’ Day
12:  International Moment of Frustration Scream Day
12:  Columbus Day
12:  Free Thought Day
12:  National Face Your Fears Day
13:  Navy Birthday
13:  Emergency Nurses Day
13:  International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction
13:  International Top Spinning Day
13:  National Bring Your Teddy Bear To Work & School Day
14:  Be Bald and Be Free Day
14:  World Sight Day
15:  Boss’s Day (or National Boss’s Day)
15:  International Day of Rural Women
15:  Mammography Day
15:  National Grouch Day
15:  National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day
15:  White Cane Safety Day
16:  Bridge Day
16:  Dictionary Day
16:  Fall Astronomy Day
16:  Sweetest Day
16:  World Food Day
17:  Dasara
17:  International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
17:  Mulligan Day
17:  World Toy Camera Day
18:  National Chocolate Cupcake Day
18:  World Menopause Day
19:  Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity
19:  Evaluate Your Life Day
20:  Hagfish Day
20:  Miss American Rose Day
20:  Birth of the Bab
20:  Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce
21:  Get to Know Your Customers Day
21:  Get Smart About Credit Day
21:  International Credit Union Day
21:  International Stuttering Awareness Day
22:  Caps Locks Day
23:  IPod Day
23:  Make A Difference Day
23:  National Mole Day
24:  United Nations Day
24:  World Development Information Day
24:  Lung Health Day
24:  Mother-in-Law Day
25:  Sourest Day
25:  XTERRA World Championships
26:  Worldwide Howl At The Moon Night
26:  Mule Day
27: Cranky Co-workers Day
27: Navy Day
28: Day of International Concern About Young
People and Gun Violence
28:  National Chocolates Day
28:  St. Jude’s Day
29:  Frankenstein Friday
29:  Internet Day
29:  World Psoriasis Day
30:  Checklist Day
30:  Create A Great Funeral Day
30:  Devil’s Night
30:  Haunted Refrigerator Night
30:  National Forgiveness Day
30:  International Bandanna Day
30:  National Candy Corn Day
30:  National Forgiveness Day
31:  Books For Treats Day
31:  Halloween
31:  National Caramel Apple Day
31:  National Knock-Knock Jokes Day
31:  National Magic Day
31:  National UNICEF Day
31:  Samhain
twitterFacebookYouTubeHow does your garden grow?
Submit your review
1
2
3
4
5
Submit
     
Cancel

Create your own review

Average rating:  
 0 reviews

Hot Products

Shop 4imprint's Hottest Products!

Shop Now

Sale Products

Shop 4imprint's Sale Products!

Shop Now

New Products

Shop 4imprint's Newest Products!

Shop Now

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *