Integrated and Sustainable
School Garden Programs
WYG Partnerships Provide:
*Support for School Garden Teams (including parents, teachers and other stakeholders) as they develop plans for garden installation, curriculum integration and community engagement
*Designs for new gardens and support for installation events
*Support with long-term planning and fundraising efforts
*Training and supervision for site-based School Garden Coordinators
*Curriculum resources and professional training for teachers
*Low cost field trips to the WYG demonstration garden at the U.S. National Arboretum
graduate as “Alumni Partners” will continue to stay in the WYG network, with
strategic support focused on teacher professional development, fundraising and
Why are school gardens important?
of Columbia is currently combating two child health epidemics—childhood obesity
(35.5% of school-age youth in the district were overweight or obese in 2007) (www.ncsl.org) and childhood hunger (37.4% of
households with children reported that they were food insecure in 2009-2010) (www.dchunger.org). Additionally, the ongoing
focus on standardized testing for math and language arts in today’s schools continues
to threaten vital science learning opportunities.
Washington Youth Garden addresses both of these issues by supporting the
development of integrated and sustainable school garden programs at
DC’s public and public charter schools.
Students will benefit
from enriched science learning opportunities through the garden, shown to
improve scores on standardized science tests,.
As demonstrated by a 2012 meta-analysis of relevant published literature,
hands-on gardening activities improves nutrition by increasing vegetable
programs have also been shown to contribute to social skills development,
effective communication and environmental awareness,,.
Why is a WYG partnership necessary?
experience over the past decade has demonstrated that without support, most schools
are unable to develop and sustain effective school gardening programs, by
becoming overly reliant on a single passionate teacher or parent.
an investment in building a broad base of involvement, thereby establishing
sustainable school garden programs that last beyond our 3-5 year intensive partnership
WYG has over
40 years of experience with garden-based education and over 10 years of
experience partnering with local schools. Most recently, WYG’s partnerships
with Burroughs Education Campus and Bethune Day Academy PCS have provided
direct evidence that strong investment in program development and
capacity-building pays off:
· Bethune Day Academy has a regularly meeting
School Garden Team and the administration has assumed
funding a 20 hour/week School Garden Coordinator to manage the garden and teach
lessons at the school. In 2013, the school took ownership over its own grant
process and was awarded funding to expand their garden site.
· Amidst layoffs and budgetary challenges,
Burroughs Education Campus committed $2,000 of their allotted professional
development funds to be used towards involving more teachers in the school
garden program. The STEM coordinator is dedicated to finding additional funding
to install a cooking classroom to further integrate nutrition education into
Visit our blog to learn more about Washington Youth Garden programs.