With a recent focus on national environmental education changes, it's important to consider what we can do to improve our school systems even further. I propose an easy first step solution: a school garden.
The idea first came from the original edible schoolyard at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Berkeley, Calif. Kids at this school along with many others across the country now take some of their everyday classes in the garden and learn the process of bringing seeds to plants to vegetables to cooking in the kitchen.
Having school gardens at elementary and middle schools across the state would teach developing kids life skills that they no longer learn today because of the glue that keeps them staring at video games, TVs and computers. Not only would school gardens encourage improved attitudes and knowledge specific to education about the environment, all general subjects could easily be incorporated. By integrating a school garden into the education curriculums, on top of boosting environmental learning, it would provide real, applicable, and hands on methods to all academic subjects like math, science, English, and art.
I already think that there are great things going on environmentally both in and out of schools in Vermont. We are clearly moving in the right direction. I think a small change like a garden at schools could go a long way. With increased awareness and support this could actually happen in the near future. I know that it may become more difficult during the winter, but a greenhouse could easily solve that problem.
Hey, kids might even eat some veggies. That's a win in itself. I hope that we can at least consider the idea of a student garden in our schools; it could change a lot for the better.