How to Grow a School Garden: A Complete Guide for Parents and Teachers

How to Grow a School Garden: A Complete Guide for Parents and Teachers

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by Arden Bucklin-Sporer, Rachel Pringle
     
 

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In this groundbreaking resource, two school garden pioneers offer parents, teachers, and school administrators everything they need to know to build school gardens and to develop the programs that support them.

Today both schools and parents have a unique opportunity — and an increasing responsibility — to cultivate an awareness of our finite resources

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Overview


In this groundbreaking resource, two school garden pioneers offer parents, teachers, and school administrators everything they need to know to build school gardens and to develop the programs that support them.

Today both schools and parents have a unique opportunity — and an increasing responsibility — to cultivate an awareness of our finite resources, to reinforce values of environmental stewardship, to help students understand concepts of nutrition and health, and to connect children to the natural world. What better way to do this than by engaging young people, their families, and teachers in the wondrous outdoor classroom that is their very own school garden?

It's all here: developing the concept, planning, fund-raising, organizing, designing the space, preparing the site, working with parents and schools, teaching in the garden, planting, harvesting, and even cooking, with kid-friendly recipes and year-round activities. Packed with strategies, to-do lists, sample letters, detailed lesson plans, and tricks of the trade from decades of experience developing school garden programs for grades K–8, this hands-on approach will make school garden projects accessible, inexpensive, and sustainable.

Reclaiming a piece of neglected play yard and transforming it into an ecologically rich school garden is among the most beneficial activities that parents, teachers, and children can undertake together. This book provides all the tools that the school community needs to build a productive and engaging school garden that will continue to inspire and nurture students and families for years to come.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
"The bounty of information is presented in ways that will generate excitement and provide inspiration. [An] excellent manual for teachers and parents."

CafeMom.com

"The bounty of information is presented in ways that will generate excitement and provide inspiration. [An] excellent manual for teachers and parents."

Rocky Mountain Land Library

"As a former early childhood educator and one who gardened with her students, let me say that I wish this book would have existed when I was in the classroom. How to Grow a School Garden takes away the guesswork and provides tip after tip from two women who have many ears of school garden experience under their belts… This book is a must-read for anyone (parent or teachers) interested in bringing gardens to their own school community."

Grist.com

"Here's a book that we wish we could purchase many, many copies of, allowing its fun lessons to spread far and wide."

Chicago Tribune

"[Introduces] the joys and benefits of digging in the dirt to kids who might not otherwise get the chance."
whipup.net

"Offer[s] the information and encouragement for helping schools create a patch of green."
San Francisco Chronicle

“This book is a treasure trove of good advice and innovative ideas. From the usual ‘what to grow’ and ‘how to garden’ to using the garden as a teaching tool and creative starting point…Fabulous resource for schools but also families who want to get more out of their patch of land.”

SciTech Book News

"Bucklin-Sporer and Pringle have written a book that simplifies and clarifies the mysterious process of changing part of any schoolyard from an asphalt wasteland to a lively connection with the natural world."
Huffington Post - Annie Spiegelman
“This is my bible on starting a school garden."

Marin Independant Journal

“This is my bible on starting a school garden."

American Gardener

"This book will be a well-thumbed resource in many school and public libraries. ... Strongly recommended."
Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior

"Easy-to-read, informative, and visually pleasing — any parent or teacher considering a school garden will find a wealth of information in this book."
Journal of Education Nutrition and Behavior

This book's hands-on approach will make school garden projects accessible, inexpensive, and sustainable.
Huffington Post

“This terrific guide is filled with detailed, practical guidelines for organizing and running a school garden.”

Children's Literature - Meredith Kiger
This interesting workbook was written by two members of the San Francisco Green Schoolyard Alliance, a group that advocates for school gardens and outdoor classrooms and was originally founded to help children care more about the environment through a close association with it. The ten chapters in the book cover everything from the philosophy behind a school garden to getting parents and others involved, selecting a site, developing a program the whole school can participate in, deciding what a healthy outdoor classroom needs, planting, harvesting and cooking and so on. Each chapter contains detailed discussions with boxed suggestions and anecdotes from real schools' experiences. Lots of color photos throughout depict ideas, in action, students and adults in action and delicious-looking results. Special emphasis is placed on connecting activities to established curriculum or providing already established curriculums to inspire. Team and community building is an added plus. An extensive list of resources is included as well as an index. John Dewey, the father of hands-on learning, would be pleased. Reviewer: Meredith Kiger, Ph.D.
Library Journal
With realistic plans designed to reap big rewards, this book provides comprehensive information on how to promote and establish a school garden as an outdoor classroom. Bucklin-Sporer and Pringle (executive director and program manager, respectively, San Francisco Green Schoolyard Alliance) address parents as integral partners who can help bring the project to fruition. They outline formative steps, from making the initial promotional pitch to procurement of adequate funding, organizational needs, and strategies to insure ongoing success. The book is packed with colorful photos and drawings, calendars, lesson plans, highlighted tips, recipes, and itemized lists of chores, tools, and plants. VERDICT The authors make a compelling case for "garden based learning" as a truly worthwhile investment because it generates a higher level of academic achievement among students who are happier and healthier from their exposure to gardening. This book will be a well-thumbed resource in many school and public libraries. Parents of school-age children, caregivers, and childhood educators will find it especially useful, and children are likely to be engaged by it as well. Strongly recommended.—Deborah Anne Broocker, Georgia Perimeter Coll. Lib., Dunwoody

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781604690002
Publisher:
Timber Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
06/30/2010
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
597,419
Product dimensions:
8.25(w) x 10.25(h) x 0.69(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author


Arden Bucklin-Sporer is executive director of the San Francisco Green Schoolyard Alliance, an advocacy organization for school gardens and outdoor classrooms. She is the director of educational gardens for the San Francisco Unified School District, and a founding partner of Bay Tree Design, Inc., a landscape architecture firm. Arden has worked with green schoolyards and public school gardens for over a decade, building an award-winning school garden program as a public school parent and working closely with school districts at the local, state and national level. Her interest in urban agriculture is fueled by her family's organic farm and vineyard in Sonoma County, CA. Arden lives in San Francisco and Sonoma with her husband and three mostly grown sons.

Rachel Kathleen Pringle is programs manager for the San Francisco Green Schoolyard Alliance. She is also the urban school garden liaison for Occidental Arts & Ecology Center’s School Garden Teacher Training Program in Sonoma County, California. Rachel has worked in the environmental education field since moving to California in 2002.  She has taught in a public school garden, integrating the curriculum into the outdoor classroom and planning events, and has created and led workshops for garden coordinators, parents, and community members while collaborating with local environmental organizations. Before earning a Master’s degree in Conservation Biology, Rachel raised cattle and kept a garden while growing up on a small farm in rural Maine.

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How to Grow a School Garden: A Complete Guide for Parents and Teachers 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
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