Spring has arrived at Virgin Valley Elementary School! Some of the students at Virgin Valley Elementary School participated in planting the school’s spring garden. Ms. Guzman’s Kindergarten, Mrs. Durbin’s 2nd Grade, Mrs. Silvaggio’s 3rd Grade, and Mr. Allen’s 5th Grade classes planted a variety of vegetables and fruit in their six garden plots. Mr. Bob Chasko, a master gardener, volunteers to help with the school garden every year. The kids love learning new gardening skills and tips from Mr. Chasko.
Students learned that plants need sun, water, air, and soil to grow. They learn about plants that produce healthy foods we can eat and enjoy. Some of the seeds and young plants they planted were root vegetables like carrots, radishes, and onions. They also planted watermelon, strawberries, zucchini, cucumbers, and sunflowers. They plan on harvesting the sunflowers for the seeds.
These students will be taking care of and observing the garden as part of their Science curriculum. They will also be writing about the progress of the garden as part of their Writing curriculum. The student’s excitement is hard to contain when they start seeing the vegetables and fruits growing. It is difficult but the students wait patiently as the plants grow and develop so they can enjoy the crops grown with their own hands.
School gardens help students build life-long social skills and teach them responsibility. They also learn skills like teamwork, communication, and ownership. School gardens can encourage a sense of community for the students and it is a great way to bring the expertise of community members into the classroom. The garden provides a living laboratory for the students and many different subjects can be taught here. Students can learn about seasons, measurement, observation, recording data, and many other skills. In addition, students that participate in school gardens are more likely to try the healthy foods they grow. It also gives the students opportunities to be outdoors and appreciate the world around them. With all of the stress, students face from so many directions, a garden can be a welcoming oasis and a beautiful change of scenery.