Experience and research have shown numerous benefits of school gardens and natural landscaping:
- students learn focus and patience, cooperation, teamwork and social skills
- they gain self-confidence and a sense of "capableness" along with new skills and knowledge in food growing — soon-to-be-vital for the 21st century
- garden-based teaching addresses different learning styles and intelligences; our non-readers can blossom in the garden!
Why gardens improve nutrition
A chronic comment about our modern world is that we no longer have a relationship with our sources of food. It comes from the store—and the store gets it from many places around the world. But start a vegetable garden and you are suddenly invested in the health and well-being of the plants that supply your nourishment, which in turn can get you more excited about eating the fresh fruits and vegetables they produce. Who wouldn’t want to taste something they helped nurture?
Gardening for Good Health!
Other benefits of gardening
The rewards of community- or school-based gardening extend beyond nutrition. Children (and adults) who garden are also increasing their physical activity level, which is another important component of a healthy lifestyle. Children who participate in garden-based learning during the school day show increased levels of physical activity compared to those who learn only inside a classroom. Some evidence suggests that such programs may improve academic performance as well. Community gardens are also a great way to build social support among neighbors.
If They Grow It, They'll Eat It
Many studies have found that children are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables if they help garden them. That's part of the motivating principle behind Shabazz School New York-based Shabazz Urban Gardens, or SUG, a school garden program that puts a heavy emphasis on having students taste the produce they grow.
The Value of School Gardens
...Young people increasingly are isolated from the land and deprived of the joys and responsibilities it teaches. — Alice Waters
To a great extent we are a deplaced people for whom our immediate places are no longer sources of food, water, livelihood, energy, materials, friends, recreation, or sacred inspiration.— David Orr
©2018 SaRita R. Dean, R.D.H.