The Social and Health Benefits of Gardens in Schools
"We're looking for a project which will bring our community together and we thought OKE could help achieve this with a school garden"
When OKE had a meeting with a local school interested in working with the charity, the above statement was music to our ears. Before any of the kids have even planted a seed, they will have seen their new school garden being built by their parents, teachers and local community. This makes the kids very proud and seeing the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into building the garden, they have a lot more respect for it and encourages them to nurture everything in the garden.
Once the garden is built the kids begin to learn and develop into Mighty Kids. Yes, they can indeed grow a few veggies but there are so many more benefits...
- Kids learn the mighty chip comes from a potato
- Kids become the teachers and show parents how to grow and use veggies at home
- The garden positively impacts mood & psychological wellbeing
- By encouraging communities to come together and share skills, then the community as a whole benefits
- Providing a social platform where kids can just be kids and learn by getting down and dirty
- Increase life skills, increase levels of self-esteem / worth
- Kids develop hands-on skills that they might potentially be interested in pursuing in life later on
- Give kids the opportunity to get outside and interact with each other, sharing knowledge and building relationships
- Children growing up healthy and strong both physically and mentally, leading to a positive outlook / future
- Provide financial skills by turning produce from the garden into profitable sales, which fund a sustainable garden.
- An outdoor classroom is a great place to learn all kinds of topics from science to language
- No more pigeon holes - The pigeons who enjoy the garden might like this but its great for the kids, as it doesn't matter if you're sporty, shy, top of the class or struggling with personal issues. Plants just want to be nurtured and have no bias towards anyone.
Please do get in touch if you are thinking about starting a school garden as OKE are more than keen to help.
When my cold soul yearns for nourishment
I visit new spring gardens where death and life dwell together
I walk winding paths between decay and creation
As winter ends the sun warms my heart, mild breezes caress my spirit
Sequined ripples on the pond wash away the shadows
Swooping hawks, chattering blackbirds, graceful herons nourish my imagination
Blooming trees, blossoming flowers awaken a dormant desire for being
I walk amidst life reborn My soul refreshed
Betsy Dolgin Katz