CitySprouts introduces school gardens as a core element of children’s public education. We partner with public schools to ensure that hands-on learning, environmental stewardship and the experience of growing and eating healthy food become part of every child’s life.
CitySprouts School Partnership Program serves over 6,000 elementary and middle school students in 24 public schools in Cambridge and Boston. Garden-based learning nurtures children’s curiosity about the world outside the classroom, imparting students with the inquisitive drive that is fundamental to all learning. Working the earth to plant and harvest fruits and vegetables also helps them form a healthier relationship with the food they eat, helping them to make healthy choices for the rest of their lives.
CitySprouts Middle School Program invites young people to engage in real world projects that develop their science, engineering and communication skills. In our summer internship in Cambridge and our after school program in Cambridge and Boston, middle schoolers learn about food systems as well as ecosystems in the school garden. They strengthen social-emotional skills to begin their teen years as empowered, active members of their community.
Ripe for Change
Ripe for Change: Garden-Based Learning in Schools, by CitySprouts Executive Director Jane Hirschi, reveals a wealth of resources to show how garden-based learning is being implemented in a systematic way in public education, and offers next steps to widen and deepen the practice to reach children in all schools. Taking a big-picture view of the school garden movement and the state of garden-based learning in public K-8 education, the book frames the garden movement for educators and shows how school gardens have the potential to be a significant resource for teaching and learning.