School gardens are a wonderful way to use the schoolyard as a classroom, reconnect students with the natural world and the true source of their food, and teach them valuable gardening and agriculture concepts and skills that integrate with several subjects, such as math, science, art, health and physical education, and social studies, as well as several educational goals, including personal and social responsibility.
The Benefits of School Gardens:
- Students learn focus and patience, cooperation, teamwork and social skills.
- They gain self-confidence and a sense of “capableness” along with new skills and knowledge in food growing — soon-to-be-vital for the 21st century.
- Garden-based teaching addresses different learning styles and intelligences; our non-readers can blossom in the garden!
- Achievement scores improve because learning is more relevant and hands-on.
- Students become more fit and healthy as they spend more time active in the outdoors and start choosing healthy foods over junk food.
- The schoolyard is diversified and beautified.
- Graffiti and vandalism decrease because students respect what they feel some ownership in.
We, in Scoil Iósaf are very proud of our school garden and take great pride in all the work our caretaker Jerry does. In spring, we plant cabbage, onions, potatoes, and rhubarb. Each class gets a plot to mind and we reap the rewards in the summer.
At the moment, our school garden is being revamped and Jerry and Mrs. Stack White are extremely busy getting it ready to reap our crops in a few weeks. So watch this space!