Monday, October 21, 2013

New Help for School Gardens

UGA has created a new online resource center to to help teachers use school gardens to enhance student learning.  The Georgia FACES article "School Garden Curriculum Resource Center helps teachers use school gardens" describes the free resource, which offers lesson plans for Kindergarten through Eighth grade, and the plans follow the curriculum prescribed in the Georgia Performance Standards.

David Knauft, a professor of horticulture at UGA, collected and adapted the school garden lesson plans with the help of former agriculture teacher Alicia Holloway in order to make it easier for teachers to use their school gardens or to start new gardens.
"During his research, Knauft found many teachers didn’t feel they had time to work gardening into their teaching day and didn’t have the support they needed to maintain the gardens.
'We conducted four focus groups with teachers, administrators and volunteers across Georgia, asking them about the value of the gardens and what we could do to help,' Knauft said. 'They said that providing information to help establish and grow their gardens and how to work them into the existing curriculum, so that they could more easily use the gardens, would make a big difference.'”
In addition to the lesson plans, The School Garden Resource Center (click on the linked name to go to the site) also includes comprehensive information about starting and maintaining a school garden and information about grants and funding sources.