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St. Francis of Assisi School introduces students to garden-based Learning


Students in Mrs. Botto’s seventh grade science class at St. Francis of Assisi School planted a variety of vegetables at the beginning of the school year in the outdoor garden area of the Chris Woods Learning Center.

The garden area features eight large, galvanized containers equipped with built-in irrigation for gardening. So far, they have harvested kale, romaine and arugula that were used in the school cafeteria. Earlier this week, the students harvested mustard greens and radishes, which will be included in the cafeteria’s salad bar.

Garden-based learning is an instructional method that uses the garden as a teaching tool. GBL includes programs, activities and projects where the garden is the foundation for integrated learning, in and across subject areas, through hands-on, engaging, real-world experiences in an informal outside learning setting.

The benefits of garden-based learning programs include increased nutrition awareness, environmental awareness, higher learning achievements, and increased life skills.

Gardening projects provide students to explore the natural world in a carefree manner that occurs rarely in today’s era of indoor living; it can also give young people the chance to develop a wide range of academic and social skills.

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