Gardening at Westside Elementary
|September 18, 2012||Posted by Arlette under Agriculture, Gardening, Kids|
It seems that school gardens are springing up everywhere. And that’s a good thing. According to the American Community Gardening Association, children benefit psychologically from spending time outside with growing plants. They focus better on studies, feel more confident about achievements, and have opportunities to lose weight or gain physical strength. These memorable experiences also help children bond with their adult role models.
Gardening offers many possibilities for “inquiry-based science learning.” Youth can ask questions, conduct experiments and think critically about their results. Last year, third grade students at Westside Elementary in Glen St. Mary did just that.
Thanks to Doug Register and Greg Harden of the Baker County Farm Bureau and Alicia Lamborn of Baker County Extension Office, teachers Ms. Kress, Ms Griffis, Ms. Hilliard, and Ms. White allowed their students to participate in the school garden project with the support of Westside Elementary School Principal Lynne Fort.
The garden was divided into sections so that all students had an area of responsibility. Each student kept a science journal and took notes on the progress of the garden. Of course there were a few problems due to weather and a few mistakes, but finally each garden section began to grow. Students asked many higher order questions as they observed the garden. And they were able to learn about nutrition by eating veggie snacks regularly. At the end, a large harvest was reaped. Mrs. White made a stew of the veggies and her own home grown cow. They were able to eat a meal that was grown locally, and they loved it! Students and teachers learned so much through this project. Let’s see what happens with Westside Elementary’s fall garden as they start 2012/13 school year.