2005 Grant and Award Winner Year End Report Summary

The National Gardening Association has been providing material assistance to youth and community gardens through grants since 1982, and is committed to the development of new projects and sustaining existing ones. NGA now tracks the impact of funded programs via a year-end reports completed by grant recipients. This helps us gauge the efficacy of our grant programs, provides accountability to sponsors, and captures general information about successful youth garden programs and their needs. The results ultimately help shape our educational outreach.

Following is a summary of results from winners from the 2005 grant cycle (completion of the evaluation was voluntary in 2005, but will be mandatory for 2006). We received a total of 209 responses:

Kids Growing with Dutch Bulbs - 110
Youth Garden Grants - 65
Healthy Sprout Awards - 10
Mantis Awards - 9
Remember Me Rose Award - 7
Juliana Greenhouse Award - 5
Hooked on Hydroponics Award - 3

Please note that grants are awarded based on merit. Winners were chosen through evaluation of written applications; winning applicants indicated well-planned, comprehensive, community-supported, and sustainable youth garden programs. Because the pool of applicants and types of programs vary each year, the statistics noted here are dynamic.

Evaluation Highlights

Type of organizations responding:
49% Public school
25% Nonprofit Agency
8% Private school
6% Other
3% Alternative school
1% Community Garden
0.5% Civic or Garden Club

Type of students they worked with:
65% In-school
45% After-school
30% Special Needs
22% Summer Program/Camp
14% Preschool/Head Start
11% Gifted & Talented
10% Intergenerational
6% Home school
6% Youth Club
6% Church/Youth Group
5% Other

Total number of children who participated:
6,047 Age 2-5 (preschool-K)
10,916 Ages 6-8 (grades 1-3)
11,374 Ages 9-11 (grades 4-6)
4,108 Ages 12-13 (grades 7-8)
1,740 Ages 14-18 (grades 9-12)

Total Students: 34,185

Average hours per week a participating child/youth was involved in gardening activities:
3.8 hours/week

Average duration of gardening program in 2005:
6.8 months/year

Program continuation:
97% of respondents plan to continue their program the next year

Type of subjects taught through gardening:
85% science
62% Service
55% Health and Nutrition
50% Math
41% Arts
38% English
33% Cultural Studies/Issues
33% Social Studies
27% physical education
26% interdisciplinary
19% history

State and National Education Standards:
64% of respondents connected their gardening program to State and National Education Standards

Importance of linking to these standards for respondents:
10% mandatory
24% very important
21% important
13% somewhat important
26% not important

Approximate amount of money spent on the gardening program:
11% less than $100
14% $100 to $250
19% $250 to $500
18% $500 to $1000
10% $1000 to $1500
3% $1500 to $2000
19% more than $2000

Average percent of funding received per category (average of all the responses for each source):
48% Grants
22% Donations
21% School or School District Funds
17% Fundraising
16% Parent or Volunteer Organizations
13% Instructor's pocket
12% Other

Average percent of time spent on different instructional techniques (average of all responses for each source):
33% Adult-led investigation/hands-on activities
27% Student-led investigation/hands-on activities
26% Collaborative project work
15% Independent Learning
13% Lecture

Program leaders noted student improvements in these characteristics:
88% environmental attitudes
82% social skills
80% community spirit
78% self-esteem
77% attitude towards school
73% leadership skills
71% volunteerism
59% motor skills
56% nutritional attitudes
52% scholastic achievement

Reported evidence documenting the effectiveness of these gardening programs:
88% positive feedback from children
76% positive feedback from parents
71% positive feedback from administrators
69% positive community feedback
37% awards and recognition
25% decreased disciplinary actions
22% positive survey results
11% improved attendance rates
9% improved test scores

Comments: Additional Impact/Community Interaction

"Our gardening program has provided our community with a common project to rally around. We host events, invite people into our garden, and encourage them to help us maintain the beauty and value of the green space around our schools. Students who have been involved in the program continually ask about increasing their participation. In addition, many students are now pursuing science projects related to plants and gardening. Through our gardening program, we have also been able to reach out to other community gardens and organizations, which has strengthened our place in the community. We hope to continue this progress in the coming years."

"We have found that the hands-on activities really make a difference! They involve children who are usually a bit reticent and allow those who are not stars in our classroom to shine. For children with too much energy to contain in the classroom, our difficult and endless soil sifting and rock removal project has been invaluable. The children expend energy, see a difference, gain a sense of pride, and are then able to return to the classroom and maintain the control that is so often elusive."

"The explosive sense of joy and pride the children have in the garden carries over into the school and they take it home with them. Our school is not attractive but the children are now seeing that they have made the surrounding grounds gloriously beautiful. They can see that they can make a difference and that they are making a change in the community. People stop and stare in awe of the beauty of the beds the children created and planted. They have met people they have fed--what could be more powerful?"

"We had no idea when we started that this would become such an important focus of community attention. We used a vacant lot on Main Street, which is now becoming a beautiful community garden, thanks to donations and volunteers. The students are thrilled to have inspired such work in the community, and take it personally that they have chores to do to care for the bushes and the area."

"Positive effects are countless. Since we have added the horticultural therapy program I feel that this has added an entirely different dimension to what is offered to our clients. Gardening every day has helped them grow in their mind, body, and spirit. I also see gardening as a great bridge between the people in our community and our organization and clients. Folks in our town are taking notice of what we are doing and appreciate our efforts in contributing to community events. I could go on and on advocating the success of this program. The true proof is seen in the eyes and voices of our clients as they ask "What are we going to do in the garden today?" Everyday is different and exciting."

"This project was one of our center's biggest accomplishments. It allowed children to learn about nutrition, learn how to incorporate the food they grew into their diets, take pride in growing, feed their families and community, make an impact on their community, take pride in their surroundings, be recognized for their hard work in the paper, and draw positive attention from the larger community. In addition, these kids were part of a garden walk in which they educated the public about the garden and its purpose."

"Overall, the children accomplished all of the things they set out to do with the garden, and gained much more than we had anticipated in terms of self-esteem and community support. They were truly amazed by the volume of food we were able to produce for the community as well. This was a wonderful project! Thank you!"


Additional data and comments:

2009 Year End Report Summary

2008 Year End Report Summary

2007 Year End Report Summary

2006 Year End Report Summary

2005 Year End Report Summary

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