COLUMBUS, Ohio -- It’s not just plants that grow in a school garden. Students can thrive as well, say school garden enthusiasts, especially when the garden offers them the opportunity to experience the landscape in a special and unique way.
School garden organizers can learn how to provide such an experience at Ohio State University Extension’s “Growing a Sense of Place: 2015 School Garden Conference,” April 24, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
“School gardens and project-based learning in general seem to have increased in popularity in school systems in recent years, and OSU Extension has spearheaded this type of learning for over 100 years,” said conference organizer Sue Hogan. Hogan is Franklin County’s 4-H educator for OSU Extension, the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.
The conference will be held at the university’s Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, 2201 Fred Taylor Drive on the Columbus campus. Registration, $55, is due April 20 and includes lunch and materials. To register, go to regonline.com/schoolgarden2015 or contact Hogan at email@example.com for an invoice.
General sessions include the keynote presentation, “Engaging Students and the Community in the Garden by Growing a Sense of Place,” by Granville High School science teacher Jim Reding. Other general sessions include “Critical Reflections on the Local Food Movement and the Role of School Gardens” by Jeff Sharp, director of the college’s School of Environment and Natural Resources; “Engaging Children in the Garden” by Maria Bowman, Edible Schoolyard Pittsburgh; “In Nature’s Infinite Book of Secrecy, a Little I Can Read,” by Jim Chatfield, Ohio State’s Department of Plant Pathology; and a presentation on Project Green Teacher, an OSU Extension program offering educational garden training.
Breakout sessions include:
- “Exploring and Investigating Soil.”
- “Growing More than Plants for Students with Disabilities.”
- “Garden Troubleshooting and Diagnostics.”
- “Construction of Raised Bed Hoop Houses 101.”
- “Small Poultry Production for Your School.”
- “Using Garden-Related Story Books as a Vehicle for Critical and Creative Thinking.”
- “The Other Side of the Garden Grant.”
- “Rainwater for Play and Learning.”
- “Season Extension in the School Garden.”
In addition, one set of breakout sessions will allow groups to meet separately to address issues unique to their experiences as elementary, middle or high school teachers, childcare and afterschool coordinators, or others, including representatives of health departments, food pantries and libraries.
For more information and a brochure, see franklin.osu.edu/news/third-annual-school-garden-conference.
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