The Learning Garden
The Jennings Strouss Foundation’s Spring 2011 project was “The Learning Garden.” Through this project, the JS Foundation focused on providing hands-on learning opportunities to students at Gateway School.¹
The “Learning Garden” project involved providing “gardening” materials for a 2nd grade class at Gateway. As part of an earth science unit, this class was learning about the different kinds of soil and the composition of soil. The class then studied rocks and minerals, and how the earth is a resource. In the last quarter, the class planned to study butterflies and their cycle. With assistance from parents and teachers, the class prepared a garden in a school courtyard and planted flowers to attract butterflies. This hands-on project was not only an important part of the learning process but also encourage parent participation.
The “Learning Garden” project raised funds to allow the JS Foundation to provide mulch, plant vitamins, and honeysuckle plants for the garden, and spades and gloves for the “gardeners.” The enthusiastic gardeners were anxiously awaiting butterflies in their new garden area.
¹ Gateway School is a primary school in the Creighton School District, serving over 850 students in grades kindergarten through 8. Gateway has a 98 percent minority enrollment with 90 percent of the students on the free or reduced fee lunch program.