Middle School Programs Take Root Across Lane County

middle-school-programsThis school year, students from middle schools in Eugene and Springfield are building, planting, and utilizing on-site school gardens for integrated science and language arts curriculum. Staff and administrators from Briggs Middle School in Springfield kicked off the school year by installing six new on-site garden beds for students to use as a living laboratory to study plant needs and genetics. In addition, students will observe and record the challenges and limitations of their space, brainstorm ideas of how to incorporate their garden into the school, and plan and implement garden expansions on their school grounds. School Garden Project staff members are working closely with teachers to support curriculum development and outdoor classroom management. Students, teachers, and School Garden Project are also planning field trips to visit FOOD for Lane County’s Youth Farm in an effort to give back to their community, utilizing the knowledge they are gaining in their school garden.
At Kennedy Middle School in Eugene, students reached out to School Garden Project staff afterimg_6363 identifying a food garden as a priority project for their school. These students, who are participating in an after-school program as well as studying the book Seed Folks, want to design, build, and plant a garden to produce food for local families in need. As a part of their research, students will visit FOOD for Lane County’s Grassroots Garden on Coburg Road to learn more about how gardening can help to create food security in their community.
Both of these projects are being led by schools and supported by our staff. We are excited to strengthen our community partnerships and to provide hands on educational assistance to middle school classrooms for the first time in our 15-year history. These programs are a part of a targeted effort by School Garden Project to address a recognized lack of garden education for middle school age students nationwide.  We look forward to working with our school partners to co-create powerful learning opportunities and curriculum in support of secondary education in the garden!