School Gardens Sprouting Around Puget Sound; Teacher Training Expanding
Seattle Tilth hosted a sold-out teacher training on school gardens in October, and to meet the growing demand, we will be expanding our program for educators.
by Lisa Taylor, Children’s Program Manager
Garden educators from around the Puget Sound gathered at the Good Shepherd Center on Oct. 16 to learn about the garden-based educational model used by Urban Sprouts in San Francisco.
Seattle Tilth and the Puget Sound Garden Collective hosted Abby Jaramillo, their executive director, in a day-long, hands-on Garden Educator’s Workshop. This sold-out workshop brought together 65 educators with a passion for gardening with children. Many teams of teachers attend the workshop to gather ideas for their school garden programs.
Abby introduced us to the Urban Sprouts model and Social Cognitive Theory. This provided us with the tools to design gardening programs and to measure outcomes.
The Urban Sprouts program model, created by Dr. Michelle Ratcliffe, demonstrates the links between individual behavior and changes that school gardens inspire and the larger impacts on families, schools and communities. Through interactive activities, workshop participants learned about the model by engaging in all of its detail.
With a mix of small group work inside and bigger, rainier outdoor garden stations we worked through the components of the model as both student and teacher/leader. Teams then could apply the model principles to their own programs.
Participants also learned techniques from Seattle Tilth's Children’s Garden educators during tours of our gardens.
An informal networking time gave participants a chance to learn from each other. There is amazing work being done in the region with school gardens.
In response to the overwhelming interest in the workshop, Seattle Tilth will ramp up our adult training programs and involve more teachers, parents and community volunteers in educator workshops.
In 2010, a comprehensive, three-part Garden Educator Training is being offered that will cover the basics of school-year organic gardening, teaching techniques for outdoor education and how to connect school curriculum to gardening activities. These daylong sessions will be offered on Saturdays and teachers will be able to apply for continuing education credits. See the 2010 schedule. Yeehaw!