Gardens act as living classrooms providing students with hands-on education in food awareness and environmental sustainability. Through planting, harvesting and tasting fresh fruits and vegetables students learn about making healthy food choices and expand their knowledge of the ecosystems we all depend on.
REAL LIFE LESSONS
The Garden to Table program employs experiential learning as tool for helping teachers connect academic subjects to real life. A math lesson in the garden not only teaches students about units of measure, it provides them with an opportunity to practice these skills and apply the knowledge through hands on activities in the garden. The experiential learning framework employed in each of our Garden to Table lessons is based on four elements:
- Connection: of academic subjects to real life activities.
- Knowledge: reinforcing and expanding students understanding of academic subjects.
- Skills: Providing opportunities to learn new skills and build proficiency
- Application: empowering students to use the knowledge and skills they have learned in everyday life.
HOW IT IMPACTS
Data collected from Garden to Table lesson surveys show that the program is fun for students, motivating to teachers and inspiring to parents. Numerous children have had opportunities to taste foods they have never tried before, and many families have been inspired to start gardens at home. The survey data we collect from students ensures that our lessons remain meaningful, relevant and impactful. 2012 survey data shows that we:
- Help students learn Academic Subjects – 84% of 1st graders say the planting lesson helped them learn the science of what plants need to grow.
- Support healthy eating habits – 93% of 4th graders say the garden nutrition lesson motivated them to try eat more fruits and vegetables
- Build Community – 93% of 2nd graders say the harvesting lesson taught them the importance of working together as a group.
- Promote Environmental Stewardship – 98% of 5th graders say that climate lesson in the garden helped them care more about the environment.