The School Garden Working Group is currently experiencing a break. If you are interested in reconvening the School Garden Working Group, please contact Brandon Nida at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is the mission of the WVFFC School Garden Working Group to provide policy and procedure to 1) increase the participation of youth and new farmers in the agricultural economy and 2) ensure that our schools are buying healthy, local foods.
Description of work
The School Garden Working Group is developing a collection of Best Practices for a toolkit to help teachers, faculty and administrators, community educators and volunteers be more effective in the garden classroom, and produce food that is safe and healthy for our schools to serve to students. Additionally, we are developing a School Garden Evaluation to help understand what is effective in the garden.
Best Practices Toolkit
1) The Working Group will develop materials for the Best Practices Toolkit by working independently and in small groups through early 2016.
2) The Working Group will pursue endorsement of Best Practices Toolkit during the Spring of 2016 by key stakeholders in West Virginia prior to publishing.
3) The Working Group will publish and make the Best Practices Toolkit available on the internet by September 2016.
School Garden Evaluation
4) The Working Group will work with MESH to develop a web-based School Garden Evaluation for pilot in Fall 2016, then available for limited use in Spring of 2017.
What will be in the Best Practices Toolkit?
- Classroom Management
- Volunteer Recruitment and Management
- Production Safety
- Post Harvest Handling Safety
- Special Needs Students in the School Garden
- Specialty Crops and Small Fruits in the School Garden
School Garden Evaluation
The Working Group is currently developing an online Evaluation to gain insight on what methods and partnerships are beneficial, and how it impacts students involved. We plan to have the tool available for a pilot during fall 2016, then hope to make it available to a wider audience the following spring.
In the past, the Working Group focused primarily on developing a database to allow elementary and middle school teachers to match gardening activities, popular school garden curricula, WVU Extension resources on gardening, with WV Common Core and CSOs. These resources are being relocated, check back soon for their new location.
It is the mission of the WVFFC School Garden Working Group to provide policy and procedure so that West Virginia can meet the goals of 1) increasing the participation of youth and new farmers in the agricultural economy and 2) ensure that our schools are buying local healthy foods.
- 1st Annual School Garden Symposium a Success!
- Regional Gathering on School Gardens: Key Findings
- Lessons Learned and Report from Kanawha Community Garden Tour