The skies may be gray and the weather wet, windy, and nasty, but one school has discovered that vegetable gardens excite elementary students. They love the actual tasks of working in the garden, and take pride in the healthy and tasty harvest.
Fourth, fifth, and sixth graders were not prevented from getting outside, and building the Ohio School’s new garden. Last year’s garden beds were completed, and harvested. Now the students are taking it to the next level, adding more beds, planting strawberries and other fruits that will ripen this school year.
One of the teachers who organized the garden project is Gene Genco. He says the activity is fun for students, and encourages a healthy lifestyle. In addition, concepts that students learn in math and science class are reinforced, while a healthy lifestyle is encouraged. Science concepts include learning how plants grow, and learning about living things.
“The kids get excited about eating the vegetables,” he said. “Sometimes they argue over who’s going to get to eat (the produce) because there’s a limited amount, and they get excited because they’re the ones who grew it.”
Another interesting aspect of the gardens is that they are shaped like a rhombus, a square, a rectangle and a parallelogram. in the future, the students will add triangle shaped gardens. Genco says that students are putting their math knowledge to work, determining how much material they need to build the garden. Problem solving skills are put to good use.
The gardens are funded by the Ohio School Parent Groups. Home Depot donated the materials, and they also sent a team of workers to guide and assist the building of the gardens.