April 18, 2013

DC Greens brings Life Lab back to train District garden teachers

By: Sarah Bernardi, School Garden Program Director

Clockwise from left to right – teachers modeling the Candid Camera activity, flower dissection, SGC’s, Kate distributing seedlings

As part of our Growing Garden Teachers Program, we partner with local and national organizations to provide targeted teacher trainings on all aspects of running a successful school garden program. This month, Whitney Cohen, from Life Lab in Santa Cruz, CA came out to train our cohort of garden coordinators on inquiry-based garden science. She modeled five lessons pulled from Life Lab’s The Growing Classroom curriculum. Teachers played the role of students, giving them a solid grasp of how the lesson should be taught, and the confidence to teach it to their students. They also had a chance to reflect and discuss how each lesson could fit into their specific grade level, curriculum, school setting etc. The training took place at Janney Elementary, which boasts an impressive outdoor classroom and garden program led by science teacher Laurie Young, who has done a fantastic job of integrating the garden into the school culture and across the curriculum. Teachers also picked up their first batch of spring seedlings, which were grown by students at Wilson Senior High School. Plantswoman and school garden coordinator extraordinaire Kate Lee of Capital City Farm Co. runs our Seedling Program at Wilson, which provides all of the teachers in our cohort with free seedlings in the spring, summer and fall.

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