School Gardens Bring Self Sufficiency & Science to Sonoma Youth: Funding Opportunity

Science in the Garden

School gardens empower children to be self-sufficient, with the knowledge of how to grow their own healthy food. What students learn in a garden can provide them with a sturdy personal and academic foundation, especially in science, and an understanding of how the natural world works. WellKind's school gardens also take children away from their screens and out into nature, a classroom with no limits.

Now it is easier than ever for schools in Sonoma County to start their gardens with the support of WellKind, a small nonprofit that seeks to enrich children's lives. WellKind is currently providing mini-grants and free garden education for Sonoma public schools. If you represent a public school in Sonoma county and would like your school to benefit from the program, applications for new school sites are being accepted until the end of January.

Beyond capturing curiosity, as kids observe nature on their own and watch their plants grow throughout the year, working gardens improve student learning and offer many English as a Second Language (ESL) students the opportunity to discover and cultivate plants. Garden education can emphasize science, ecological principles, health, nutrition, and biodiversity. It can also integrate cultural perspectives relevant to diverse student bodies by celebrating America's scientific figures, such as George Washington Carver and Cesar Chavez.

According to Saivya Birnbaum, Garden Coordinator from Brook Haven Middle School in Sonoma: "Having a school garden is really important because the kids need that connection with the natural world. It's critical at this time and age to stay connected to the roots, to where your food comes from; knowing how to grow your own food is a valuable skill to have." The enthusiasm found in the garden can spill out to family and friends, with students bringing garden produce home to food-insecure families and sharing recipes.

WellKind seeks to support school's in starting, maintaining school gardens and in teaching k-12 youth. A fundamental goal for WellKind is to give youth as much access to outdoor gardens as possible. From the launch of our Garden Program in 2020, WellKind reached over 5,000 K-12 students. WellKind has also partnered with 12 community groups in Sonoma and Marin City to support their local food security and gardening projects, serving over 17,000 people.

The deadline to apply for funding for a school garden from WellKind is January 31, 2022. Approval and funding will go out quickly so schools can begin planting this spring. If you would like to apply for your school, let us know by contacting us at info@wellkind.org.

Join WellKind in granting schools and children life-changing opportunities in the garden.

Michael Collins
info@Wellkind.org
201-273-8310

Source: WellKind

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Categories: Educational News

Tags: Garden, Schools, Sonoma