School Gardens Inspired by Educator Workshops

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Teachers, parents and anyone interested in school gardens are learning how to get students growing food during Garden Educator Workshops. At this week-long summer intensive, you will learn how to grow a kids garden program for your preschool, elementary, middle or high school or community center.

The garden at Maple Elementary started like many school gardens do, with the initiative of one teacher, a small grant and many small hands moving soil and rocks. Since 2004, students in Marcia Ingerslev’s third grade class have been connecting to the natural world and the food they eat in a dynamic outdoor classroom. Marcia is passionate about the garden because the results are rewarding for her students, integrating the garden program into all areas of her curriculum.

Marcia said the Garden Educator Workshop was the “single best training I’ve ever taken.” She appreciated the diversity of attendees from childcare staff, to public school teachers, principals and parents. She was inspired by hearing everyone’s success stories and learning new ways to integrate the garden into the classroom.

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Marcia said teachers are busy and “you can only get them to garden if they know how to integrate it into what they already do.” Tilth Alliance’s garden educators understand this and consciously work from the classroom perspective to support teachers in their important work. We are excited to partner with the University of Washington’s College of Education to explore how to connect Next Generation Science Standards with school gardening.

Past participants are doing amazing things with what they’ve learned in our workshops. Check out a testimonial featuring a past participant.

School gardens make a big difference in the lives of kids and families by encouraging healthy eating and taking care of ourselves, each other and the environment. Parents report that after working in the school garden they had to start a garden at home because it was so important to their kids. After sampling food from the garden, kids eat and enjoy a wider variety of healthy food asking for second and third helpings of veggies.

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A version of this article by Lisa Taylor was originally printed in Tilth Alliance’s newsletter, Way to Grow (June/July 2011).


Garden Educator Workshop: Summer Intensive

When: Monday-Friday, July 17-21; 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Where: Good Shepherd Center (4649 Sunnyside Ave N)
Cost: $400 individual and $350 member

Spend the week exploring Tilth Alliance’s Children’s Garden with our garden educator experts, while learning how to grow an effective schoolyard garden program. You’ll learn the nuts and bolts needed to build a science-based, cross-curricular school garden program. This week-long intensive allows educators to immerse themselves in the organic garden classroom. And it’s FUN! Teachers receive clock hours.

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