A group of fifth graders has received a $3,500 grant so they can grow the community garden with seed money from Fiskars’ 2016 Project Orange Thumb.
At Joan Austin Elementary School in Newberg teacher Stephanie Sayles teaches her students about organic growing and the importance of healthy vegetables. Sayles believes that active gardening is so important for their education that she sets aside classroom time for real hands in the soil gardening.
The fifth graders know about keeping chemicals out of food and protecting the watershed. They have also learned about nutrition and testing different salad vegetables through growing and tasting them.
According to Sayles, gardening reinforces math and science concepts. When the children are outdoors, they experience environmental issues and care of the land first hand.
The class has developed a community garden, which was awarded $3,500 in tools and cash from Fiskars. They were one of 30 groups that received the prize out of over 400 applicants. The grant will support the community garden and a future urban forest.
Fiskars says that the award is based on environmental stewardship, healthy lifestyles and nutritional awareness.