#GivingTuesday is November 28, and we are happy to announce that all of the funds we raise will benefit educational programming at the Tom Settlemire Community Garden! Click to learn more.

Teacher comments after Fall 2017 cider pressing/seed visit.

The connection between children and what they eat — especially the chance to see food grown walking distance from our school — is an incredibly valuable experience. The other rare and important component is the chance to see the same garden at the beginning and end of its growing season!

Having a local, hands-on experience during various stages of the life of a plant is critical for a better understanding of how plant life operates. Having the opportunity to experience different unique moments of a garden’s (or plant’s) life is a way to supplement a child’s experience and understanding of a cycle. Children tend to “learn” better when they are actively a part of something or can experience something outside of the classroom or up close and personal in a tangible way.

This opportunity provided a hands-on, real life experience where kids could explore, get their questions answered, and connect what they are learning in the classroom to real life. There is nothing better.

The overall experience was wonderful. It fully connected to the required plant unit and gave kids an experience they may not ever have otherwise. Going back and seeing the plants my kids planted last year was wonderful for both me and my new students. I am hopeful both the fall and spring trips can become a staple for first grade plant studies.

Students had an amazing time exploring seeds and learning how families help each other….Students also benefited from the hands on learning how cider is made.

My students learned a lot during this trip and told me they had never done those sorts of things. Some had never tried a cherry tomato before and they liked it. It is also a good experience for them to see how the community helps others.

Kids need to have as many hands on learning opportunities as humanly possible.

Students shared with me that they learned how the garden and plants changed over the seasons. They also learned about different kinds of seeds and how to prepare for the next planting season. I thought that the slideshow provided students with great background knowledge about how the garden looked in the spring and summer, and the experience of visiting the garden in the fall really made the changing seasons clear to the students.

I think it is important that students see all stages of a garden, not just the early planting stage.

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