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Growing the Future by Teaching Children in the Gardens   

Granny's Garden School develops and manages sustainable garden and nature based programs on elementary school grounds.

Students at the schools in our program embark on a four-year adventure when they enter the first grade.  Each lesson brings a new hands-on learning experience that enhances their understanding of science, math, social studies and the natural world.  Along with academics, children develop practical skills and are introduced to healthy foods that may impact them throughout their lives.

Produce from each school's vegetable gardens provides snacks for students, is served in the cafeteria and the surplus goes to feed the hungry through local food banks and soup kitchens.

Students taste what they grow and, many discover they like carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, beets and even onions as they snack on them fresh from the gardens and roasted in the school cafeteria.  Parents report their children are requesting vegetables they tasted at school and that they take pride in donating their surplus harvest to food pantries.  Teachers report that students have a greater understanding of life science because of their experiences.  

Granny's Garden School uses whatever is at hand to turn school grounds into outdoor learning centers and science labs.  These are the tools we use to provide students the opportunity to learn from real world experience as they interact with the natural world - as part of the school day.

Granny's Garden School handles the overall development and year around management of the physical gardens and nature trail for the schools in our program. 

  • We design, create and maintain flower and vegetable gardens and, wherever possible, a nature trail.

  • We secure resources for in-kind donations of material i.e. wood chips, compost and other supplies to reduce the overall cost of developing the projects.

  • We depend on our small team of gardeners who are experienced with caring for  educational gardens and working with large groups to lead high school/college students and corporate groups and other volunteers who provide the labor for building and maintaining our gardens.

Using the educational tools we create.

  • Granny's Garden School makes it as easy as possible for teachers to participate in our program.  We only work with teachers who volunteer to participate;  it will not work if they do not see the value in investing classroom time in our program.

  • Each teacher is assigned to one of our trained Garden Educators who comes equipped with our standards aligned, nature based lesson plans. 

  • The Garden Educator recruits and organizes volunteers, pulls together materials and tools, uses our lesson plans to guide the class through each activity (with the classroom teacher assisting) and cleans up afterward.

  •  We developed a seasonal calendar (spring, fall) of activities/lessons that align with the curriculum and the curriculum map and  takes into consideration the limitations of our zone 6 climate.

  • Develop relevant lesson plans for each activity for each grade.

  • Develop and manage the schedule of who is out when/where and ensuring each class will have the space, tools and other supplies they need for that week's lesson.

In 2015 we will expand to include more summer and after school programs including summer programs for children and their families that involves them in the physical aspects of creating and maintaining the gardens.

The GGS website is accessed by garden educators across the country. Many have come to Loveland to learn in person about the program so that they, too, can impact even more students.

At Loveland Primary, Elementary and Early Learning Schools (program established 2002, we developed more than 110 vegetable gardens, many flower gardens and a mile nature trail that serves more than 1,400 students.  This is one of the largest and most comprehensive school garden programs in the country.

At Stewart Elementary, in the Princeton School District (program established 2014), we currently have two small flower gardens, 24 vegetable gardens and a nature trail that serves about 300 students.

 
It always seems impossible, until it’s done.  - Nelson Mandela.
Granny’s Garden School is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2002. We are not funded by the school districts we serve.

 

 

 
Celebrating our 13th year of Growing the Future by Teaching Children in the Garden
 

"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant." Robert Louis Stevenson

 
Continued appreciation to our original website sponsor Ellie Kowalchik of Keller Williams Pinnacle Group Real Estate