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School Gardens

The City Green School Garden Program

School Gardens create a hands-on learning tool with rich, year-long connections to NJ Core Curriculum Standards. City Green has facilitated new School Garden projects in over a dozen cities in northern New Jersey, with specific focus on Paterson and Jersey City.

The City Green School Garden program supports teachers with the construction of garden “classrooms”, custom designed curriculum programs, teacher training, and resources. We have found that many teachers are eager to use gardens to enrich their lesson plans and engage students but are not sure how to get started or what to do once they have a garden. City Green supplies the curriculum, tools, and support that these energetic teachers need to run successful programs. 

City Green’s school garden curriculum covers subjects from math to history, art, science and language. Our Curriculum library includes 28 units of 3 or more lessons each, and is growing all the time! Research on School Gardens shows that participating students demonstrate improved achievement in math, science, and social studies; that gardens motivate reluctant readers, and improve learning for visual and tactile learners; and students who garden eat more vegetables!

School Gardens are simple to construct and easy to maintain. With help from City Green, a team of teachers and students can install a garden of any size and in almost any location.  Each School Garden is different based on space availability and curriculum needs of the school. No green space at your school? No problem! Gardens can be built on asphalt, cement or over other hardscape areas.

Here is what you need to do to get a School Garden started at your school:

  1. Gather your team. You’ll need at least three teachers to assist with the project and ensures its longevity.
  2. Brainstorm with your fellow teachers how you envision using the garden. What is the purpose of your particular garden program? What grade levels do you want to work with in the garden? What subjects would you like to enhance with this outdoor teaching space?
  3. Share your ideas with your administrators and other faculty members. A successful project has as much in-school support as possible! 

And... Call City Green!

The City Green School Grounds team can be reached at:

(973) 869-4086 or info@city-green.org

We’ll meet with you at your school, assess your School Garden site, and get the ball rolling!

The City Green School Garden program involves the following components:

The Consultation: Experts from City Green visits a school to meet with administrators and teachers. We discuss the goal and purpose of the garden and ideas for how it connects to the classroom. We make suggestions about locating the garden and how best to create an outdoor garden “room” for the school.

The Installation: City Green dedicates two days of labor to install the garden alongside school children and teachers. Students learn the steps in a process, safety rules, and the pride of making a difference at their school. City Green coordinates all aspects of the installation from labor to procuring and delivering garden building materials.

Professional Development Workshop: City Green provides a hands-on, 4-hour teacher training workshop and manual about how to care for a new garden.

Comprehensive Garden Curriculum: Based on school needs, City Green develops five units, each with 3 visits to the garden, tailored to your garden and your classroom needs. Lesson plans offer step-by-step instructions for projects as well as cross-curricular extensions and a built-in portfolio assessment component, all correlated to NJ Core Curriculum standards.

Ongoing Support: City Green continues to support every garden project with monthly newsletters, Best Practices workshops for teachers, and additional curriculum development as requested. We are also continually available for garden expansion and/or troubleshooting problems in the garden; and we maintain a lending library of School Garden Extension Kits for teachers’ use


 

 

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