School Sprouts collaboratively creates these dynamic learning gardens with input from teachers, parents, administrators, and students. This cooperative effort allows the garden to be a custom designed space serving the needs of all who participate. With each garden, the response has been overwhelmingly positive from teachers, administrators, community members, and, of course, students!
Teachers are impressed by our ability to seamlessly weave the classroom curriculum into garden activities that engage the students’ interest. Administrators can be assured that the garden will work with the landscape of the school and complement the learning. Parents are excited by the rich, experiential approach that garden learning embodies. Students are passionate about their school garden! They look forward to spending time outside each week exploring, questioning, and discovering.
“I think that the continuity and cyclical nature of the program, from seed ordering, planting, working in the garden, relating gardening to Kindergarten curriculum, harvesting, worm boxes, and beginning again, is most useful. The children get to be a part of and see the whole process and then eat the fruits or their labor. As a teacher, I love what is being done to relate gardening to the Kindergarten curriculum, and I love watching the children get excited about doing gardening work – it is all hands on!” Kindergarten teacher, Williamsburg Schools
“The curriculum connection is invaluable to me. It covers so many aspects of my curriculum. [School Sprouts] also is able to take any tie-ins that I have and relate them to our gardening lesson. If we are talking about shapes in math, [they] will talk about the shapes of our garden beds, if we’re learning about symmetry, we will examine veggies from the garden, and we always write in our journals about our gardening experience of the day. This will incorporate vocabulary, spelling, illustration, punctuation, and lots more! I also love that my class is able to take learning outside the classroom, respond to another teacher, get physical activity while learning, and that my children can teach others about what they have learned.” Second grade teacher, Williamsburg Schools
“ Even though the garden is a classroom, it’s a fun way to learn!” Easthampton 7th grader
“I like going to the garden because it is a new and exciting way to learn things. Also we get to spend some time outdoors.” Easthampton 7th grader
“The teamwork and established friendships were the best part about the Garden Club.” Holyoke 6th grader