March 2015 Issue
Our monthly e-mail newsletter with thematic and standards-based articles, activities, and resources for educators implementing school gardens and family gardening. Keep up to date with our website, sign up for Kids Garden News.
A new curriculum unit, developed by the educational staff at the National Gardening Association, which addresses the core specific elements of the water cycle for K-12 students. The lesson plans are grade specific, addressing different aspects of the water cycle and applying the principles to activities and inquiry that can be discussed in and out of the school garden. The curriculum unit is free and can be downloaded from at kidsgardening.org.
In a partnership with Burpee Home Gardens, the National Gardening Association developed the “I Can Grow” guide for educators, and now expands that resource to include individual lesson activities. These educational guides cover a range of subjects with activities rooted in the ground and the world around us. Download the Youth Curriculum free.
Seed Savers Exchange offers a fundraising program for schools and nonprofit organizations. Programs earn 40% of what is sold. Find more details on their website.
This resource provides information about the construction, use, and management of greenhouses. There are useful tips and information about experiments that can be done in a greenhouse. Learn more about greenhouse gardening.
Through the Sip to Support a Garden program, sponsored by Jamba Juice, schools and community gardens can earn credits that can be applied toward the purchase of essential gardening equipment suitable for any age from the National Gardening Association’s Gardening with Kids catalog. Participation is easy: Sign up your school or garden organization online. Your organization will receive a Jamba-Kit that includes program details—and start swiping. Each time a supporter uses the swipe card for purchases, Jamba will donate 10% of the purchase to NGA for your purchasing account. Sign up your school and Sip to Support online.
The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation (FTPF) is an award-winning international nonprofit charity dedicated to planting fruitful trees and plants to alleviate world hunger, combat global warming, strengthen communities, and improve the surrounding air, soil, and water. FTPF and Dreyer's Fruit Bars are planting orchards across the country in a collaborative program called Communities Take Root (CTR). Through this exciting program, communities compete in a nation-wide vote to win a complete community orchard. Applications are now open for 2012. The first 100 qualified applicants will be in the running to win a free orchard, including orchard design, arborist expertise, and a fun community planting event. Orchard recipients also receive a free community workshop on planting, pruning and caring for fruit trees. Learn more about this grant opportunity online.
KaBOOM! is a company based in Washington D.C. Thanks to the generous support from the Dr. Pepper Snapple group, KaBOOM! is currently offering a variety of grants to individuals and communities wishing to create or improve a playspace within their neighborhood. The mission of KaBOOM! is to create great playspaces through the participation and leadership of communities with the goal of providing a place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Spruce grants of $750 are being awarded to communities this year who are planning to make their existing playgrounds cleaner, safer, and more inviting. The Let’s Play Spruce grants are designed to reward communities that have recently maintained and “spruced” up their playspaces. Keeping a playspace clean and well-maintained is essential for a child’s safety and enjoyment. Find out more information about KaBOOM! grant opportunities.
This one-day workshop, on May 19, 2012 from 9 AM to 3 PM, gives you the opportunity to see the garden through the eyes of a young child. Learn to set up a garden space to encourage children to explore, ask questions, and connect to the natural world. Using the Sowing the Seeds of Wonder: Discovering the Garden in Early Childhood Education curriculum, you will learn activities to engage children’s curiosity and enthusiasm while introducing fundamental ideas in environmental science and nutrition. Cost is $150. Find out more at lifelab.org.
The American Community Gardening Association’s 33rd annual conference, Community Gardening on the Cutting Edge, will be held in San Francisco, California. Check out the ACGA website to find out more about this opportunity.
JOIN US in COLORADO! The education team at NGA will be presenting GAME: Grow, Ask, Move & Eat—our latest curriculum unit that gets your students working in the garden! Rendezvous in the Rockies, hosted by the Colorado Foundation for Agriculture, the National AITC Conference will be held in Fort Collins, Colorado, in 2012. More than 400 enthusiastic educators and administrators from across the nation will converge to share resources, lessons, and innovations promoting the importance of agriculture in everyone’s lives. For more information see the full conference bulletin online.
Schoolyard gardens and habitats provide excellent opportunities for cross-curricular learning while fostering awareness of the environment, wildlife, nutrition, life skills, and gardening. This workshop is designed to introduce teachers to the benefits of schoolyard garden programs that incorporate direct links to classroom curriculum. Participants will learn practical information on laying the groundwork for successful programs, visit local schoolyard gardens and receive feedback and advice from the teachers that realized them; and take home curriculum resources and plant material! In addition, onsite participants will also gain exclusive access to the newly developed online course materials, presentations, and discussion information. This online course was designed and developed through a partnership with the National Gardening Association (NGA), the leader in plant-based educational resources, materials and grants. NGA’s expertise in grants and funding, curriculum, volunteer recruitment and maintenance, as well as many other areas necessary for school gardening success are well-known. In addition, participants of the course will receive an exclusive discount for materials and resources from the Gardening With Kids Store, a resource of NGA. More information, registration details and deadlines can be found on the website.
Building on the information presented in the workshop “School Gardening 101," this workshop will dig more deeply into the principles and considerations of designing schoolyard gardens as well as the tips and tricks for preparing and installing successful garden projects on the school grounds. Workshop activities will include presentations on garden budgets and funding sources, visits to area school gardens, hands-on activities, and collaborative working sessions focused on design, installation, and maintaining a sustainable schoolyard. Please bring a school site plan and/or measurements of the area of the grounds to be planted. In addition, through a partnership with the National Gardening Association (NGA), the leader in plant-based educational resources, materials, and grants, NGA will provide their expertise on applying for grants and funding opportunities and other critical resources and information for school gardening success. Participants of the course will also receive an exclusive discount for materials and resources from the Gardening with Kids Store, a resource of NGA. More information, registration details and deadlines can be found on the website.
This two-day workshop (March 22-23, 2012, 9 AM to 3:30 PM) is ideal for those interested in supplementing their existing science program with garden-based learning. Using The Growing Classroom activity guide for grades 2-6, you’ll experience hands-on activities, learn basic science concepts and gardening techniques, and develop management strategies for a school gardening program. Cost is $300. Find out more information online.
This one-day workshop, (March 30, 2012, 9 AM to 3 PM), will help you make the connection from seed to table. In a fun and delicious way, you will explore ways to teach nutrition to elementary and middle school students through gardening, harvesting, and meal preparation. In the spring version, we will cover food groups, cultural connections around food, theme plantings and tastings for spring, and more. Cost is $150. Find out more at lifelab.org.
This one-day workshop, (May 17, 2012, 9 AM to 3 PM), will offer a process for developing science inquiries in your schoolyard or garden. Designed for K-8 teachers, participants will learn strategies to encourage students to explore the world around them. Based on the current content standards in science, we will use a model that can be adapted to any grade level. Cost is $150. Find out more at lifelab.org.
The 20th Annual National Children and Youth Garden Symposium will be held July 19-21, 2012 in the Greater Washington DC area with headquarters at The University of Maryland. Registration opens April 2012. For more information visit AHS online.