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Extension > Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds, Healthy Learners > October 2016

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On this blog, we share regular updates about the Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds, Healthy Learners partnership between Extension's Children, Youth & Family Consortium and Bruce Vento Elementary School.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Life without gardening? I don't think so!

By: Kirsten Saylor


Gardens are "living classrooms" and really upend what we have come to think of as a classroom — a space engineered by people to be effective learning spaces. In the garden, Nature is the co-teacher, and sometimes she just does what she does. I can't get the tomatoes to grow faster or slower or stop the lettuce from going to seed. I can't stop the rain from falling when I want to bring kids out into the garden. I can't get the weeds to listen to me when I ask them to stop growing into the garden beds or taking over the mulch.

headshot of Kirsten Saylor
Photo: Kirsten Saylor/LinkedIn
As the new school garden coordinator at the Bruce Vento Elementary School in St. Paul, I have an interesting job. Besides co-teaching with Nature, I work on integrating the garden into the school's curriculum, promoting healthy eating and access to healthy foods, and identifying collaborations that will work to create and maintain an educational garden space.

As the newbie, my inquiry has been like a search and find mission. I've talked with many different stakeholders: school teachers, staff and administration; people from different school district departments, parents, community-based and youth-based groups in St. Paul.
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