Frequently Asked Questions

We get lots of mail and always want to answer your inquiries. That’s why our staff has created this mini FAQ page for the most commonly asked questions. Just click on any question to display the answer inline on the page.
How did Granny’s Garden School begin?

Why are school garden programs important?

How do the schools benefit from the garden program?

Why does Granny’s Garden School not charge schools/parents for their program?

Why don’t you use volunteers to lead classes in the gardens?

How much does it cost to run Granny’s Garden School?

What is the cost per class/student?

Where are the gardens and what do they contain?

How is the school garden program funded?

How can I help Granny’s Garden School?


Emergency Funding FAQ
What does my donation provide?

•$1000 funds a spring’s worth of lessons for 1 class.
•$500 funds five weeks of outdoor classroom activities for 27 students.
•$250 funds a Nature Trail Walk and lessons for 90 students.
•$100 funds one garden lesson for 1 class.
•$75 funds a set of garden trowels for 1 class.
•$50 funds enough purple carrot seeds for the year.
•$25 funds one bag of potting soil for starting seeds.
•$10 funds one kid-size garden shovel.

General FAQ
What is Granny’s Garden School’s School Garden Program?
Granny’s Garden School is the largest and most comprehensive school gardening program in the Midwest. Since its founding in 2002, Granny’s Garden School has delivered more than 3,000 hours of garden-based education to more than 7,000 students in a public school environment.

Granny’s Garden School uses public school grounds to help students experience nature, the satisfaction of growing their own food and appreciation for the simple pleasure of picking a flower. The program collaborates with schools to offer hands-on learning opportunities that compliment the school’s curriculum.
How did Granny’s Garden School begin?
Granny’s garden school began with Roberta “Granny” Paolo’s desire to share a love of gardening with her own grandchildren and evolved from there once they entered school in the Loveland School District. After winning the support of school administrators, teachers, parents and staff, the program that is now Granny’s Garden School was launched.
Why are school garden programs important?
From the educational perspective, school garden programs offer a wide range of opportunities for deep learning. Granny’s Garden School uses our vegetable and flower gardens and ¾ mile nature trail to teach state of Ohio curriculum standards in science, math, and social studies. Our lessons and activities provide students with hands-on educational experiences that supplement and expand on classroom lessons. Many of our activities require a multi-step approach to encourage critical thinking as students work together to make observations, record findings, and interpret results orally, and sometimes graphically.

Our outdoor classes facilitate active learning when students hold nature in their hands to collect information that helps them understand the connections between living things and environmental processes. Our lessons are uniquely tailored to grade level complexity and build on learning from year-to-year and within the grade level. Ultimately students understand cycles of organisms in nature and the effects of human and natural impacts by exploring nature. In addition, school garden programs are seen as the way to solve or curtail problems such as childhood obesity and early onset diabetes, while also promoting healthy eating habits, guiding children to become good environmental citizens, and providing hands-on, problem solving learning opportunities for children-particularly children with a variety of learning disabilities.
How do the schools benefit from the garden program?
Granny’s Garden School’s outdoor classrooms offer a creative and interactive approach to teach curriculum standards. Each participating class room is assigned a garden to plant, harvest and maintain. This makes it possible for teachers to spend time outside by using the process of growing flowers and vegetables and exploring the nature trail to support the school’s established curriculum.

Each week, hands-on activities are used in the gardens to enhance what is being taught in the classroom. Granny’s Garden School program connects state standards with hands-on garden and nature trail lessons that are tailored to the unique educational requirements at each grade level. A calendar integrates seasonal needs of the gardens (planting and care) with the curriculum map being taught in each grade. The same garden activities can be used to teach multiple topics depending on each grade level’s need.

Outdoor classes are led by a trained coordinator who works with the classroom teacher. The coordinator organizes volunteers, pulls together classroom materials and tools needed for lessons, guides the class through each activity and cleans up afterward.
Where are the gardens and what do they contain?
Granny’s Garden School’s gardens are located on the 25-acre campus of the consolidated primary and elementary schools in Loveland, Ohio. There is also a smaller garden located on the grounds of the Loveland Early Childhood Center. Currently, the program includes more than 100 vegetable garden beds, a 3/4 mile nature trail opportunities and flower gardens too numerous to count.
How is the school garden program funded?
Granny’s Garden School is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which operates financially independently from Loveland City Schools. All services are provided to the students free of charge. The most important source of funds for Granny’s Garden School is donations from individual supporters. The fiscal philosophy of Granny’s Garden School is to keep things simple and invest in staff resources rather than buying lots of “stuff.”
How can I help Granny’s Garden School?
There are several ways to support Granny’s Garden School, including:
•Financial support or donation of in-kind goods: from baskets, to pots to furniture to paint to things lying around the house, we are constantly looking for items to help us further our mission.
•Volunteer for one of our many special events.
•Volunteer to work in the gardens or the office: there is always work to be done!
•Attend Granny’s Spring Plant Sale, held the first weekend in May
•Join the Bouquet-a-Week Club: for a $35 donation, members can pick 10 bouquets of 24 stems throughout the season.
•Spread the word: Like Granny’s Garden School on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and share our stories with your social network.