Kale, carrots, and cauliflower; these vegetables have long had a place at your table, but now they are making their way into your child’s classroom. Agriculture programs have been increasing in popularity over the past few years with around 27% of public elementary schools utilizing a school garden. With so much focus on standardized test scores, why would schools be spending less time on practice tests and more time planting seeds? They say the proof is in the pudding, or in this case, maybe the parsnips.
Several studies and anecdotal evidence suggests that incorporating agriculture education into your lesson plans greatly increases student success on standardized tests. The research is so overwhelming that new programs are popping up all over the country to get kids growing. These programs include Kimbal Musk’s The Kitchen Community, The Green Bronx Machine founded by Stephen Ritz, as well as many others.
Increased test scores aren’t the only benefit of these green projects either. These same studies have shown that an increase in knowledge of where food comes from and the excitement of growing something themselves leads to an increase in vegetable intake in children. In fact, students who benefit from The Kitchen Community’s garden program are 23% more likely to eat the vegetables served for school lunch. Now that’s something I can dig!
Contact us for more information on our systems and how we are contributing to local schools.
Adrienne Day is the Compliance & Education Specialist for Tiger Corner Farms. She previously opened and ran a successful Montessori school in Jacksonville, FL that focused on sustainability and bringing children outdoors. She enjoys spending her free time with her husband and lovable pups, Igby and George.