This is the entrance to a garden produced by elementary school students in their schools' garden club.

This is the entrance to a garden produced by elementary school students in their schools’ garden club.

Today’s modern educational system seems to greatly favor advancing the minds of children in traditional ways such as English, science, history, and math considering the recent switch to Common Core as well as the launch of the new SAT. However, with the obesity rate rising in California and with 1-in-5 children suffering from mental disorders in the United States (Centers For Disease Control and Prevention), some now believe that alterations within the educational system should focus within the realm of emphasizing the health curriculum.

 

Within the San Juan Unified School District and the Sacramento City Unified School District teachers are starting to make school gardens part of their curriculum in a major effort to better the health of children.

This is a miniature garden produced by elementary school students in a wheelbarrow.

This is a miniature garden produced by elementary school students in a wheelbarrow.

“I find that it is a palate that can be used for almost any focus and the kids are so engaged when they are in the garden that it brings that learning to life,” said Shannon Hardwicke, a garden educator in the Sacramento City Unified School District (Sacramento Lifestyle-“What’s Growing In School Gardens”).

School Gardens provide an educational experience that kids cannot gain simply from instruction in the traditional classroom setting. Engaging with others in the production of a garden allows kids not only to gain social skills necessary for life, but also is a major contribution to them embracing their creativity.


School Gardens provide an educational experience that kids cannot gain simply from instruction in the traditional classroom setting. Engaging with others in the production of a garden allows kids not only to gain social skills necessary for life, but also is a major contribution to them embracing their creativity. imageConsidering that children spend half as much time outside as they did twenty years ago, their creative nature has been hindered. In the gardens, children are encouraged to take their time and notice colors, insects, sounds, feelings, smells, and shapes, which then leads to poetry, diagrams, art and detailed responses in the students’ journals according to an article on
(Sacramento Lifestyle-“What’s Growing In School Gardens”).

 

This is a home for the chickens an elementary schools' garden club is going to receive.

This is a home for the chickens an elementary schools’ garden club is going to receive.This curriculum of school gardens is centered around Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) skills. These skills include curiosity, compassion, choice, teamwork, endurance, handwork, patience, leadership, and gratitude. Such skills are vital in the creation of an emotionally and physically healthier future for today’s youth.

This curriculum of school gardens is centered around Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) skills. These skills include curiosity, compassion, choice, teamwork, endurance, handwork, patience, leadership, and gratitude. Such skills are vital in the creation of an emotionally and physically healthier future for today’s youth.

 

Not only do school gardens introduce a new way of learning and teaching, but they acquaint children with nature and make them aware of the ecosystem. Investing children with such valuable knowledge can ultimately change the direction in which the world is going in as getting the youth involved in improving the environment will have a greater impact and may breed environmentally cautious adults. Thus, today’s youth may be more considerate of the Earth’s health than current adults.

While educating  children in the traditional ways is important, so is educating them about health

These are flowers produced the elemenatary schools' garden club.

These are flowers produced the elemenatary schools’ garden club.

in general. If the Earth is unhealthy and if today’s youth is unhealthy, educating them in any way simply will not be possible. School gardens are  just the beginning of bettering the modern world and forming not only a healthier, but a happier and wiser future as well that will hopefully consist of liberated individuals in terms of fulfilling their entire potential.