Glenview Grows is Glenview Elementary’s garden committee, made up of parents and students who plant and maintain the gardens on the Glenview school property. In April 2019, a group of more than 20 parent and kid volunteers transformed the Glenview “yard” into the Glenview Garden by weeding, moving 1,800 pounds of new soil, creating planters, and planting plants.
We’re Still Growing Strong! Ten months after we first started the Glenview Grows program, we have built more planters; moved another 3,600 pounds of soil; and have harvested beets, kale (so much kale!), corn, pumpkins, cherry tomatoes, snap peas, watermelons, flowers, and much more. All this growing takes a lot of hands to make successful, so if you are interested in helping out either in the classroom or the garden, make sure to visit Konstella to sign up for the committee. It is a great place to hang out and work and introduce kids to what is growing around them—they have lots of great questions and ideas!
Why Are School Gardens Important?
From learning where food comes from and how plant and insect life cycles work to enjoying the beauty of quiet spaces, a school garden can be a big benefit to children and teachers alike.
School gardens are important for many reasons:
- 1 in 3 children born in the year 2000 are on track to develop Type II diabetes (and that’s 1 in 2 if they are a child of color).
- 23% of all American children face food insecurity.
- Only 2% of children eat enough fresh fruits and vegetables.
- The typical elementary student receives just 3.4 hours of nutrition education each year.
These statistics are sobering, but the good news is that our school garden will help our students learn about how to grow their own food, how the food cycle works, and that caring for nature can be delicious and fun! We are working hard to get everything in place to help the kids explore and for the teachers to use the garden.
Statistics also show that children who grow their own food are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables and to be more knowledgeable about nutrition. They are also more likely to continue healthy eating habits throughout their lives.
School garden programs have other impacts as well. They have been shown to improve children’s behavior and performance at school and improve their attitudes about, and appreciation for, the environment. Gardens serve as great outdoor classrooms for any number of subjects, including science and ecology, math, creative writing, and art. School gardens are wonderful spaces for kids with different learning styles and abilities to work in groups and engage in hands-on, cross-disciplinary education.
We need a lot of parent involvement to make all of these wonderful things happen. There are many opportunities for small time or materials contributions that can make a big difference.
Please get in touch if you have a few hours to spare on a weekend or are looking for a regular monthly commitment. We also would love help with curriculum coordination (getting teachers to use the garden for lessons), which can be done at home; ideas for new programming (want to create a cultural planter with vegetables and herbs from your part of the world? create a sensory garden that is fun to touch and smell?); and soliciting donations (from seed packets to garden journals to garden artwork).
If you are interested, please contact Elizabeth Adam at email@example.com, or sign up for the Garden Committee on Konstella, and make sure to follow @glenviewgrows on Instagram.
Community Wish List
If you have of the following items to donate, or have questions, please contact Elizabeth at firstname.lastname@example.org or 510-967-1214.
- Soft-sided weeding baskets (like a tube that collapses)
- A rotating composter
- Sailcloth or canvas tarp
- A potting table
- A large chalkboard that is either rolling or could be mounted to a fence
- Vegetable seedlings/seeds
- Garden journals
- Video production help so that we can be strong contenders for grant funding
In February 2019, Glenview Elementary was awarded a $2,000 grant from the WholeKids Foundation (a part of Whole Foods) to create an edible schoolyard at the Santa Fe site! Their support means that we can really get our garden off to a great start with good soil, plants, tools, and curriculum support. A huge thank-you to them!
A big thank-you goes out to Grand Lake Ace Hardware’s Garden Center for helping us with vegetables, herbs, flowers and a new hose to get our garden growing strong!