The Elementary School's Courtyard Garden has been an
on-going project for the past ten years. It began as the project of one
class of students working with their parents over a series of weekends in
the spring. The Courtyard Garden has grown into an integral learning space
that continues to evolve, with over 100 children calling the garden
'theirs' at any given time.
Children extend their study of plant and animal lifecycles
maintaining the Courtyard Garden using hands-on experience weeding,
mulching, and adding new plantings annually. This project demonstrates the
students civic pride and gives responsibility into their hands to
maintain this portion of the schools grounds.
This is a tremendous learning space which is home to many
birds and insects.
Children learn respect for nature and get to express their feelings about
the garden through reflective written exercises such as poetry and
journaling as well as on-going discussion. This project has expanded to
include children's artwork, a teacher's hand-painted signs which
identify many of the plants, composting garden waste, identifying the
various birds that visit and live in the garden on a regular basis and
feeding birds year-round.
www.brittonkill.k12.ny.us/myersweb/ for additional information
about this service learning project.