Midvale Garden Gives Students New Opportunities
Hands on learning is something you see in practice at schools all across the City of Tucker. In some cases, it’s happening inside the classroom. In others, students get to go outside to innovate.
At Midvale Elementary School, students have a brand new outdoor laboratory, the learning garden. Positioned behind the school, and a stone’s throw from the playground, students will be able to learn about plants, how they grow, and their role in the ecosystem.
“The garden creates a space for our school community to collaborate across grade levels with a hands-on, inquiry-based, schoolwide initiative that will infuse every part of our curriculum,” explained Principal Dr. Tara Dougherty. “The learning garden will allow our boys and girls to develop connections between concepts taught in the classroom and issues facing world food supply, along with environmental concerns and environmental stewardship.”
Several community groups collaborated to make the learning garden a reality. Nonprofit STEM for Every Child donated needed supplies like interlocking garden beds and pallets of soil. Many Midvale families chipped in with donations of soil or gift cards. Eagles Scouts from Troop 15 donated lumber for the project, ultimately taking all the supplies and getting to work actually building the gardens.
The school has two teachers who are leading this project, kindergarten teacher Julie King and second grade teacher Hope Hoge. In addition to being educators, both women are master gardeners.
“We have noticed our students being highly motivated by gardening as it provided a hands on, real world experience to learning,” King said. “It allows children to take ownership and feel proud of the work they put into it.”
“Our students at Midvale will be able to gain hands on knowledge by utilizing the outdoor garden for all subject areas!” Hoge added. “We can’t wait to watch our students and our garden flourish and grow!”
This project has been a long time coming, as Dr. Dougherty and her team have had it in the planning stages since before COVID. Now that the beds are set, students can look forward to learning in a new way while getting their hands dirty.