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How to Make the Benefits of a School Garden Meaningful in a Child’s Life

KQED News Mind/Shift – Leah Shafer

“Amid the litany of education reforms that emphasize innovation and new methods, school gardens stand out as a low-tech change. In an era where kids’ lives are more sedentary, and where childhood obesity has risen dramatically, gardens support and encourage healthful eating as a key component of children’s physical wellbeing, which can aid their academic and social success, too. And as the consequences of food deserts and poor nutrition on life outcomes become starker, advocates say that school gardens can act as a counterweight — an outdoor respite for children growing up in environments that can be otherwise unsafe or barren.” (more)

School gardens grow plants, food and stronger students

Education Dive – Lauren Barack

“Teaching students how to have a green thumb today has graduated far beyond sticking toothpicks in an avocado seed, plucking that in a cup of water and watching a bit of greenery grow. More than 25% of public elementary schools nationally had garden programs in their curriculum as of 2013, according to research from Bridging the Gap, a project funded by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. That’s a 133% increase from the 11.3% of elementary schools that had similar programs in 2007.” (more)

Ten Gardening Books to Use in the Classroom

Education World – Kassondra Granata

“Spring is here, and that means it’s time to get outside and enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer! One activity that teachers will want to get going is a classroom garden. Gardening is a great way to teach students about how things grow and other important facts about nature and the environment.” (more)

Gardening Activities for Students

Education World – Colleen Newquist

“Few kids can resist the magic of making something grow — digging in the dirt, planting tiny seeds and, with a little sun and water, voila! Life spurts forth, rewarding gardeners with a surge of pride for playing a key role in nature’s miracle. It’s an irresistible combination and a terrific opportunity to teach lessons across the curriculum, from the obvious, such as science, to the less apparent, like literature.” (more)

How a school garden has transformed the way we teach

The Guardian – Tim Baker

“It was in 2004 that I decided to install a garden at Charlton Manor Primary School. I’d just taken up the role of headteacher, and there was some derelict land on the school site. I’d seen the news reports about children lacking knowledge of where their food came from and felt that we as a society had become very detached about food. The reason for this was clear to me: we were no longer educating our children about food in schools.”(more)

Playing brain games ‘of little benefit’, say experts

BBC – Staff Writer

“Brain training games may not provide the benefits to brain health they claim to, according to experts. Instead, a report from the Global Council on Brain Health recommends that people engage in stimulating activities such as learning a musical instrument, designing a quilt or gardening. It said the younger a person started these activities, the better their brain function would be as they aged.”(more)