School Gardens Blooming Teach Lessons On Nutrition, Environment, Science, Teamwork

Lauren Williams's picture
Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Gathered in the large garden behind an elementary school here, a group of kindergartners watched as their teacher snipped some basil, let them smell the leaves, and then did the same with oregano.

"We do a lot of smelling out there. Looking. Digging," the teacher, LeaAnne Pillers, said. She took her class to the garden two or three times a week after it opened last spring at Moss Haven Elementary, and she's excited to get her new group out among the plants when school starts next week.

One of their first lessons: learning the five senses. "We'll be able to do a lot with `What does it look like? What does it feel like?' Some of it we'll even be able to taste," Pillers said.

Moss Haven's garden is among a growing number being planted in schoolyards across the country. It is part of an American Heart Association initiative to get kids to eat healthier. Along with nutrition, school gardens also can teach lessons about the environment and science, teamwork, math skills and leadership, proponents say.

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