Classroom to Garden
Exploring a garden gives children a vital connection to their natural environment. Asking questions about what they find there and looking for answers gives them essential skills that all students need. Working the earth to plant and harvest fruits and vegetables connects them to their food system. Garden-based learning is an experience all children need in order to thrive in our world today.
The CitySprouts program partners with public schools in Cambridge and Boston so that garden-based learning becomes part of every child’s education from the time they start school through their middle school years.
Our school year program is designed to increase children’s academic engagement in learning and their understanding and appreciation of the natural world. Children make healthier food choices because of the CitySprouts program. Teachers’ capacity for sustained garden-based learning in their teaching practice is increased.
CitySprouts does not introduce separate garden curriculum to teachers. Instead we work with teachers to help them extend their lessons outside in the garden, and to use the garden experience as a springboard for further learning back in the classroom.
Our staff of garden coordinators provides each of our partner schools with weekly onsite support throughout the growing season. In addition to planning, assisting and making “garden expert” visits to classes, CitySprouts garden coordinators ensure that each schoolyard garden is rich in plant diversity and thriving.
CitySprouts supports teachers’ peer-to-peer learning through our Teacher Forum webinar series and through visual demonstrations of garden lessons and activities created by teachers and for teachers.
Our partners in this work are the public schools and school districts we serve. Our underlying principle is that integrated garden-based learning needs the support of teachers, schools and district leadership if it is to make a meaningful change in children’s lives.