learning at park
It’s full of bugs. It’s messy, it’s dirty, and it’s the place on campus our kids would most like to be.
Park Day School has beautiful grounds, and children have been working plots in our garden for most of our school's history. We have a lovely sunken garden area with raised beds for student use and space for an after school gardening club. One example of a long-standing project: our third graders plant a garden, harvest it in the spring and serve the vegetables as part of their service learning project in a local senior shelter.
As we've expanded our campus and our efforts at being a model green school, a group of committed parents and staff have envisioned and begun to incorporate a full seed-to-table Learning Garden as part of our rich science curriculum. The garden has expanded to our newly acquired property, and a mini-farm has been developed, including chickens. Each year we have expanded the garden program, and currently the program serves students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Students work with our gardening teacher once weekly and have access to the garden during lunch and after school. The curriculum is rich and varied, matching the needs and guidelines for science at each grade level.
By growing and eating vegetables, [children] learn to see themselves as part of natural cycles. Our health depends on the health of our food, which depends on the health of the soil. Children learn that we are embedded in the soil. They see that we are not apart from nature, but a part of it, and therefore we must play our part.
It is our objective to establish an organized, sustainable educational gardening program that introduces students to the life cycle concepts of planting, growing, harvesting, cooking and eating their own healthy, organic food through hands-on learning.
Stewardship through hands-on learning:
Food Literacy and Health
Ecology of garden offers multi-disciplinary connections and deepening of classroom content: