Benefits for Students

1. Results showed a preponderance of positive impacts on direct academic outcomes with the highest positive impact for science followed by math and language arts.

2.  Gardening during childhood exposes children to healthy food, moderate exercise, and positive social interactions and can often lead to a lifetime of gardening. 

3.  Students learn focus and patience, cooperation, teamwork and social skills. 

4. Instill appreciation and respect for nature that lasts into adulthood. 

5. Contribute to communication of knowledge and emotions, while developing skills that will help them is more successful in school.

6. Tending to new plants teaches children responsibility and teamwork. It provides an opportunity to bring science, math, social studies, and language and visual arts to life through hands-on learning. 

7.  Vegetable gardens let children taste the wonders of fresh food.

8.  Student gain self-confidence and a sense of “self reliance” along with new skills and knowledge in food growing — soon-to-be-vital for the 21st century. 

9.  Garden-based teaching addresses different learning styles and intelligences; our non-readers can blossom in the garden!

10.  Achievement scores improve because learning is more relevant and hands-on. 

11.  Students become more fit and healthy as they spend more time active in the outdoors and start choosing healthy foods over junk food

 12.  Students who are familiar with growing their own food tend to eat more fruits and vegetables.

 13.  Graffiti and vandalism decrease because students respect what they feel some ownership in their school.

 14. Students take pleasure in learning and show positive attitudes towards education.

 15.  Children’s’ attitudes toward school were more positive in schools that offered gardening.

 16.  School gardening may affect children’s vegetable consumption, including improved recognition of, attitudes toward, preferences for, and willingness to taste vegetables.

 17.  Gardening also increases the variety of vegetables eaten.

 18. The school garden serves as a “safe place” for students. Studies show that large numbers of students report “that they feel ‘calm,’ ‘safe,’ ‘happy,’ and ‘relaxed’ in the school garden”. 

19. Students increased self-understanding, interpersonal skills, and cooperative skills.

20.  Children with learning disabilities, who participated in gardening activities, had enhanced nonverbal communication skills, developed awareness of the advantages of order, learned how to participate in a cooperative effort, and formed relationships with adults.

 21.  Classrooms using Grow Lab indoor gardens and Grow Lab curriculum scored significantly higher than control classrooms in students’ understanding of key life science concepts and science inquiry skills. National Gardening Association (1992)

 22.  Third, fourth, and fifth grade students who participated in school gardening activities scored significantly higher on science achievement tests compared to students that did not experience any garden-based learning activities. Klemmeret al. (2005)

 23. Elementary school and junior high school students gained more positive attitudes about environmental issues after participating in a school garden program. Waliczek & Zajicek(1999)

 24. After gardening, students have shown increased knowledge about nutrition, plant ecology, and gardening. Pothukuchi(2004)

 25. Gardening programming positively influenced two constructs: “working with groups” and “self-understanding.”Robinson, & Zajicek (2005).

 26. In a summer school project that used a whole language approach with gardening as the central theme, the most significant student gains were in self-esteem and achievement in reading, reading comprehension, spelling, and written expression. Sheffield (1992)

 27.  Linking storytelling with garden programs may serve to educate children about the processes that underlie and interweave diverse cultures’ seasonal traditions. Bowles (1995)

 28.  Gardens are often the most accessible places for children to learn about nature’s beauty, interconnections, power, fragility, and solace. Heffernan (1994)

 29. Gardening can be an ideal vehicle for introducing elements of multicultural education. Eames-Sheavly (1994) Gardening helps young people understand the value of diversity by exploring historical contributions from cultures worldwide to what we eat today.

30.  J. Michael Murphy, an associate professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School, studied the Edible Schoolyard program in Berkeley, California for two years. He discovered that school gardens are both “shrinking students’ waistlines and increasing their understanding of food and the environment.” He observed that “when middle school students in large urban communities are given the opportunity to learn about ecology in a real-world context, they are more enthusiastic about attending school, make better grades, eat healthier food due to wiser food choices, and become more knowledgeable about natural processes.”






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