School Garden Volunteers: New Training Program for Community, July 2013

Gardens are thriving and growing at many Hawaii Island schools, and many hands are needed! Volunteers work alongside students to help maintain the gardens, sometimes in the outdoor kitchen cooking, and can also help teachers turn the experience into valuable lessons in science, nutrition, and environmental education. School Garden Volunteers are very important to the overall success of our island programs, helping to lead a small group, thus providing greater opportunities for the children to experience hands-on education. Your time is valuable, so from an hour a week to 50 hours a month we value all volunteers.

This Winter, the HISGN will be offering a free School Learning Garden Volunteer Training Program. Please check back for dates and times or e-mail Donna Mitts, who will inform you of the date and time when it is set.

Topics to be covered will include:
1. An overview of the School Garden Programs in West Hawaii
2. Working with children and youth in outdoor settings: Engaging the Young Mind
3. Volunteer Protocols in School Gardens: What to Expect at a School Garden
4. Review of Gardening Skills: Composting, weeding and hoeing, transplanting, pricking out, soil amendments, and creative projects for children and youth

School Gardens are stimulating, inviting, and beautiful spaces that encourage a child's learning across subject matters, and are as diverse as the 60 elementary/middle/high school communities that are part of the Network. Each garden is a unique outdoor classroom designed to provide hands-on, experiential learning opportunities for K-12. This real-world learning can be integrated into all academic subject areas and has been shown to benefit children by boosting academic achievement, nurturing healthy lifestyles, cultivating life skills, and promoting environmental stewardship.

Learn more about what each school partner is doing to grow young minds and nourish the next generation by looking through the School Portfolio Pages.