“Everyone is unique,” Larson said. “You just see that each garden is different and is truly shaped by the students, educators, and community partners who work together in the garden.”
The gardens offer a variety of benefits, teachers and advocates said Thursday, including providing students with hands-on experiences and helping them understand how food is created.
“The power of growing your own food is incredible,” said Erica Krug, outreach coordinator for the Wisconsin School Garden Network.
Lake View physical education teacher James Kay noted that the school garden has a special box with a variety of gardening tools and activities that is a great break for students in need. of a few minutes outside the classroom. The forest at the back serves a similar purpose, with students being able to release energy that prevents them from concentrating on learning.
“It means everything to help kids stay regulated,” said Debbie Craig, behavioral education assistant for Lake View. “It’s a time when they can just be a kid.”
During this time, she says, they can learn valuable lessons like teamwork, negotiation, communication, and cooperation as they move heavier objects or decide what they want to create. The class of third-grade teacher Drew Greenhalgh voted to plant cucumbers in the garden – they just beat the peppers in a heated debate, she said – and using the garden allows her to connect lessons on various topics, like measuring growth, to real experiences.