Your dissertation topic captured my attention as gardening in schools has been a new topic being explored in Southern Nevada. At my school location, we have a garden program, and it seems to help students learn and connect to nature. Additionally, we host a yearly community dinner with sponsors from neighboring businesses who support the garden programs for kids. These activities have motivated several community members and families to start their own home gardens. Childs (2011) described school gardens as helpful to students’ attitudes towards healthy eating and making healthy choices, and the garden programs enhance students’ science knowledge and learning.
Gardens in schools started in the early 1900s, but the idea subsided for few decades before resurfacing again with new researched ideas. Stewart (2014) explained that 75,000 gardens were in production in 1906, but the projects were overlooked due to WWI. The new shift to attention to health has reformed the concept of school gardens to come back with a focus on healthy student, emotionally and mentally. Research has shown minimal evidence for gardens as the source for enhanced student academics, but the health benefits are drawn from the connectivity with nature. Some regions have set up funds for school gardens, especially in areas with high numbers of students under Free and Reduced Lunch. The new gardening focus has opened varied opportunities for school age children, including desire to grow and eat healthy foods.
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