Walton Education Foundation

My students are kind and loving individuals who have been identified with various different type of significant disabilities. They come to school every morning with big smiles and big hearts. Throughout the day students are presented with many different learning activities which are designed to help solidify the skills that were introduced throughout their elementary school. These students within my classroom are encouraged to complete all activities with as much independence as possible. But, gardening activities build character. A school garden club is the perfect learning community for students in a class with a wide variety of learning, mental, and emotional needs. By creating a list of tasks and job duties, students at different developmental levels can find their own niche in the garden. By creating timelines of planting and garden activities, my students learn planning skills. More advanced students can lead groups of students while learning leadership skills and all students can have a hand in producing a physical product that they can show their friends, families, and school staff throughout the school year.

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Destination Innovation: Outdoor Learning Center for Students with Special Needs

grant photo
School:
Walton Intensity School of Excellence 
Subject:
Low Performing Students 
Teacher:
William Snell 
 
Two classroom aides 
Students Impacted:
12 
Grade:
9-12 
Date:
September 27, 2019

Investor

Thank you to the following investor for funding this grant.

 

St. Joe Community Foundation - $1,111.73

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Goal

My students are kind and loving individuals who have been identified with various different type of significant disabilities. They come to school every morning with big smiles and big hearts. Throughout the day students are presented with many different learning activities which are designed to help solidify the skills that were introduced throughout their elementary school. These students within my classroom are encouraged to complete all activities with as much independence as possible. But, gardening activities build character. A school garden club is the perfect learning community for students in a class with a wide variety of learning, mental, and emotional needs. By creating a list of tasks and job duties, students at different developmental levels can find their own niche in the garden. By creating timelines of planting and garden activities, my students learn planning skills. More advanced students can lead groups of students while learning leadership skills and all students can have a hand in producing a physical product that they can show their friends, families, and school staff throughout the school year. 

 

What will be done with my students

School gardens are the experiential classrooms that engage students in a variety of subjects, from studying the water cycle in earth science to learning the origins of plant names in language arts to discovering hands-on how plants reproduce, grow, and interact with the environment in biology. Students can learn real-world math applications by measuring plots and charting growth rates. As they work with others and learn to care for living things, they develop important life skills like patience and responsibility. These means that every opportunity becomes a lesson and every place becomes a classroom. 

 

Benefits to my students

Horticulture therapy is the use of plants and gardens to promote health and wellness in students with disabilities. This form of therapy encompasses many gardening activities where the students are cultivating, thinning, weeding, watering, sowing and harvesting plants, to nature activities such as planting butterfly gardens, putting up bird houses, as well as activities using products from the garden to make crafts and cook, and even just creating spaces for other people to sit alone and have time to think. It is also important that the students have many different kinds of sensory inputs, be that they are tasting fruits, smelling flowers, touching different vegetation, stones, and water, as well as listening to sounds of nature. The best way to measure success in the school garden club are data and assessments. The purpose of most school garden clubs indicate that garden based learning is intended to provide meaningful and relevant learning, in a natural context. By moving away from assessments that are focused on accountability alone, to one that is designed to enhance learning, we will be a step further in our goals for creating a student developmental principals in the garden classroom. The fundamental purpose of any educational assessment of students should be to promote meaningful learning. Assessment should elicit students’ genuine effort, motivation, and commitment to the assessment activity and situation. Self–assessment will play an important role in authentic tasks. A major goal of authentic assessment is to help students develop the capacity to evaluate their own work against public standards; to revise, modify, and redirect their energies, taking initiative to assess their own progress. The characteristic of authentic assessment serves other goals as well, signaling to students that their work is important enough to be a source of public learning and celebration; providing opportunities for others in the learning community, that is students, faculty and parents to continually examine, refine, learn from an appreciate shared goals and achievements. Portfolio assessment for school gardens places a great responsibility on students for their own learning, with an emphasis on self-selection, reflection, and self-monitoring. The collaborative nature of portfolio assessment allows the teacher and learner to jointly discuss the learner’s achievements and it is used to improve rather than simply monitor and report student learning – in this way reflecting real work. In return, STAR assessments and FSAA assessments will show increase in students learning by real-world applications. 

 

Budget Narrative

I believe that good nutrition is essential for learning, but many students don't get enough healthy foods in their diet. School gardens are a proven tool for reversing this trend. Students who garden get excited about tasting the fruits of their labors. They are more likely to get the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables each day, and they develop healthier attitudes about food, nutrition, and physical activity that can last a lifetime. Other cited benefits of gardening include: improved motor skills, enhanced creativity, increased social skills and improves self-confidence. Gardening also reduces stress and helps children cope with anxiety and frustration. In the end, students with disabilities become advocates for the self and develop self-awareness. 

 

Items

# Item Cost
1 Palram HG5508PH Hybrid Hobby Greenhouse, 6' x 8', Silver, Plant Hangers Included $600.74
2 Plants $400.00
3 Potting Soil/Mulch $100.00
4 Set of 30 Pack Vegetable Seeds! 30 Varieties! Create a Deluxe Garden! All Seeds are Heirloom, 100% Non-GMO! by Black Duck Brand 30 Different Varieties $10.99
  Total: $1,111.73

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Special Thanks to Our Presenting Partners

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Alys Foundation

St. Joe Community Foundation