On November 8th, the Edible Schoolyard hosted its first collaborative teacher training with Guilford County Cooperative Extension! Focused on integrating school gardens into curriculum, the workshop was called “Tips and Techniques of School Garden Instruction.”
We were thrilled with the turnout: 30 teachers joined us for 5 hours of intensive instruction for which they received .5 CEUs.
The workshop began with an opening circle in the Edible Schoolyard garden. We learned that teachers and school staff from Greensboro, High Point, Summerfield, Winston Salem, and beyond were in attendance. Additionally, some of the schools represented already had well-established gardens, while others reported that they were still in the brainstorming process. Everyone shared a desire to learn about gardening in the Piedmont and creative ways to teach children about the power of healthy, whole foods.
Here are some highlights from the workshop:
– a garden tour by Hailey Moses and Justin Leonard of the Edible Schoolyard, and hands-on gardening instruction from Karen Neill, Extension’s Urban Horticulture Specialist
– an example of an experiential lesson on soils by Leah Klaproth and Eliza Hudson, Food Corps Service Members
– apple tasting and butter making activities with Jennifer Bedrosian of the Edible Schoolyard (which involved a catchy butter song!), and information on portable cookware by Leah and Eliza of Food Corps
– Jenn Phillips of Greensboro Montessori discussed vermiculture for the classroom and a multi-grade lesson on the parts of plants, followed by Kelly Misiak who spoke about her work with the Giving Seed
– Finally, Cynthia Nielson of the School Garden Network, our co-facilitator, discussed online resources for garden-based education in schools
In addition, Whole Foods donated 5 composters to be raffled off to teachers. They were drawn by Madison Elementary, Summerfield Elementary, Reedy Fork Elementary, Kirkman Park Elementary, and Cone Elementary. They also provided us with a delicious dinner during the workshop.
Needless to say, a great time was had by all. The Edible Schoolyard has such respect and admiration for our local teachers, and we look forward to learning with and from them again soon!