EAST BRUNSWICK — The New Jersey Agricultural Society recently was awarded a $3,000 grant for its school gardening program by the Middlesex County Fair Association. The grant provides funding for the NJAS Learning Through Gardening program that gives materials and training to teachers and schools to build vegetable gardens. The school gardens become hands-on outdoor classrooms where teachers can show the students real-life applications in all subjects.
The NJAS program is currently supporting gardening in 29 schools throughout New Jersey. Learning Through Gardening will kick off the school year by providing materials and plants to begin the gardens, teacher training workshops, an annual poster and essay contest encompassing an agricultural theme, and a garden pep rally. Each teacher is committed to teaching at least one lesson per month using the garden space as a teaching tool.
Learning Through Gardening was launched by NJAS in 2002 as a way of using agriculture as a laboratory not only for science concepts, but for math, social studies, arts, health, and literacy concepts as well. Often the association’s sponsored gardens start as one or two raised beds and develop into an integral part of the entire school curriculum and a community-wide effort supported by local businesses and volunteers.
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