A school garden is an essential environmental lesson that is intrinsic to survival skills. Yet today, we assume that the nearby supermarket will be available 24/7, forever. So why do we need to learn how to grow food, right? Wrong! Seldom do we remember that life on earth is fickle. Children and adults would immensely benefit by learning how food journeys from seed to table. In fact, children benefit from it in innumerable ways.
School gardens that are part of the academic routine, also enliven the school’s enclosed perimeter. Radhika Unni, Principal, S.B.O.A school and junior college, Chennai says that they not only utilized all their available space at school effectively but took care of reusing “old tyres and discarded fish tanks” to grow the plants.
Here are 7 reasons why every school must have a garden and why every child must engage in it.
- Children have a hands-on study of environmental topics. They learn about the ecosystem and the balance modern living has to keep with nature.
- It would be an outdoor activity that is directly related to the classroom. Lessons can expand to include real-life experiences leading to better comprehension and retention of scientific knowledge. Experiments on plant growth can be more exciting than reading statistics from a textbook in the classroom.
- Learning about medicinal herbs, the ways to recognize them, and how to use them can be a life-saver.
- It teaches students to live a healthy life while they learn to respect food and where it came from.
- A direct involvement in growing vegetables or fruits on a school’s terrace or other open spaces can greatly encourage children to eat fresh produce.
- A school garden would be a useful and a fun way to get exercise.
- Working in a garden can be an ideal stress buster. Children feel positive if they are given a plant or a garden patch of their own to tend and care.
- If children are allowed to take home some of their own herbs, vegetables or fruit it would a great gift for mom and dad.
Do share some of your own stories on how a garden at school is beneficial or why you are now thinking of suggesting one for your school.