Roosevelt School Garden
The school garden at Roosevelt Middle School in Cedar Rapids, IA began in 2012 with three 4’ x 8’ raised beds. In 2013, a 104’ x 40’ layered garden was built by Matthew 25 Ministry staff and volunteers, and by Roosevelt Middle School students, families, and staff. Weekly maintenance of the garden is the responsibility of the garden club, which meets weekly from March to early November. This group is made up of 6-8 grade students mentored by Matthew 25 staff, volunteers, and school personnel. Garden club members engage in planning for the garden, learning and implementing planting techniques, cooking and preparing produce, the food system, composting and food waste, local foods, value of improving nutrition, understanding food production, canning and food preservation, and many others. For 2014 we hope to expand the involvement in the community surrounding Roosevelt Middle School by hosting educational opportunities for families and adults. A key component of the school garden at Roosevelt is providing opportunities for students to grow not only the garden, but their leadership skills. Most of the activities done in 2013 were student-driven. When there is extra work to be done during peak growing season, AmeriCorps members and church youth groups in the area for work trips all assist with the garden labor.
The goals of the school garden include offering hands-on education to help kids understand food and gain skills that empower them to be positive contributors to a healthier community. These goals are primarily achieved through hands-on educational experiences in a variety of disciplines. Participants learn about the life cycle of plants, understand the math skills and planning involved in preparing a garden site, engage in group problem solving and community building activities, and finish with a real product which they can share with their school, families, and community.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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