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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Ag in the Classroom

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Did you know that students in 70+ Columbus City Schools
practice some form of gardening?!

If kids grow it, they are more likely to try it; and then they are more likely to like it and request it at home. Our Extension Today host, Tim McDermott, visited Georgian Heights Elementary recently to check out what the kids are growing in their classroom – and what they are putting to the taste test. See what these students are excited about in their school garden.

When it comes to kids and vegetables, hands-on gardening in the classroom is a great way to learn about plants, taste-test new (to them) veggies, and take that enthusiasm home with them to share with their family.

We have several free fact sheets available on Ohioline to check out more about how "learning by doing" helps kids with classroom and life lessons, as well as garden-related activities your family can do at home this summar:

Gardening can be used to teach science, math, literature, social studies and many other subjects. Using school gardens as a context for learning has been well-researched. When students share experiences planting, harvesting, and preparing food together, it helps them learn basic skills AND connect with each other and their teachers.

Gardening with teachers and classmates helps lead students to higher scores on science achievement tests, increased health and wellness, more positive feelings toward education, and increased cooperation with others.

If you want to learn more about how you can engage your kiddos in Ag in the Classroom and get an idea of what the students and teachers are growing, check out the Week in the School Garden page on Growing Franklin. Tim posts a weekly update on what is growing indoors and outdoors that you can use to follow along or use to create your own classroom agriculture laboratory.

Check out Growing Together: A Guidebook for Teaching Garden-Based Science to Kids, which is designed for teaching garden-based science to kids. In this book, volunteers, parents, and teachers can find fun, interactive activities to include in their indoor or outdoor horticulture education efforts.

Agriculture in the Classroom programs are implemented by state-operated programs. National Agriculture in the Classroom supports state programs by providing a network that seeks to improve agricultural literacy — awareness, knowledge, and appreciation — among PreK-12 teachers and their students. The vision of the program is that "Agriculture is valued by all."

Farm to School enriches the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food producers by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools and early care and education sites.

The Ohio Farm to School program is very active, etc. across the state, and there are many resources provided by and for Farm to School in the Classroom efforts. Activities and lessons abound for all grade levels, whether you want to focus on some seasonal events or integrate lessons on nutrition, health, science, food, or careers throughout the year. You also can learn more in our previous segment on Farm to School.

Started in 2014 by representatives of OSU Extension in Franklin County and a representative from Slow Food USA/Olentangy Local School District, School Gardens of Ohio is a grassroots organization committed to making school gardening a vital part of the educational culture in Ohio by offering fun, educational networking opportunities for school garden enthusiasts. We are a collective group of garden educators, community members, and organizations who network to offer fun and educational opportunities for school garden enthusiasts.