Today’s world is fast-paced, and heavily reliant on technology. For one, students can easily forget the beauty and essence of Mother Nature. While in school and outside of it, most children and teenagers spend their days on their gadgets. That’s why school gardens are so important.
Nature’s guidance towards appreciation and nutrition
Studies conducted in the US and UK highlighted just how critical it is for children to be oriented to gardening. From appreciating the natural world to helping students understand the essence of eating better, school gardens couldn’t be more crucial.
Dr Sandra Austin, lecturer in social, environmental and scientific education at the Marino Institute of Education says: “I see school gardens as connective spaces that allow you to see a bigger picture. You can experience the beauty as a whole and then find interesting things like how plants smell or look, and you can open up pieces of fruit and see the seeds. Learning outdoors like that offers really important direct experience of nature rather than just reading about it in class.
Another study in Cornell showed that “children whose schools provided regular school garden lessons had more access to low-fat vegetables and fruit at home than children without that curricula,” further proving just how life-changing school gardens can be for students of all ages.
Benefits of school gardens
Plenty of studies have shown just how school gardens can stir students towards right and more conscious decision-making. Below are even more benefits of school gardens.
Encourages physical activitiesGardening requires various levels of physical strength and mobility. It’s perfect to keep students active, have them feel the ground on their feet and the dirt in their hands. Beyond sports and usual exercises, having a school garden is yet another natural and engaging way to improve children’s health.
Puts forward biodiversity and conservatismIt’s easy to forget our species can’t exist without respecting the needs of Mother Earth. School gardens contribute significantly to helping children understand how critical our natural world is. Considering the alarming rates of deforestation, pollution and even toxic gardening, having a plant nursery on school grounds provide awareness. Moreover, it helps develop an eco-friendlier way of thinking; that they grow up to be more responsible and mindful adults.
Teaches communication and teamworkGardening with students can help them sharpen their communication skills. Once they start learning what plants they’re looking at and how to care for them, they have better chances of expressing themselves.
Teamwork is also another lesson they can learn throughout their time in the school garden. Engaging them with various gardening activities in groups will hone their social skills, and further appreciate that there truly is no “I” in a “team”.
Relieves stressStress comes in all forms. In schools, it’s often peer pressure that troubles students, which makes it even more important to have the right outlets to cope. Gardening is scientifically proven to calm the nerves and ease the mind.
Whether it’s pruning or walking around to check how the plants are doing, gardening can truly lessen the stress that comes with school.