What Is Garden Club?
What Is Garden Club?
Garden Club is an after-school program at Highland Youth Garden, occurring weekly on Tuesday afternoons, 3:30pm-5pm. Students do Garden-Based crafts, experiments, activities, cooking, projects, and more! Students also have ample opportunity to actually work and harvest in the garden- taking home produce to families & helping their garden grow!
Garden Club accepts up to 20 students each school year, grades 2-6, from two local Elementary Schools.
What are students doing in garden club?
So many different things! We plant seeds, do garden crafts, build simple machines, learn about bugs & different types of plants, eat garden-based snacks, and more! The first Garden Club of each month, students cook a garden-inspired snack or meal together. We’ve made everything from applesauce, sourcing apples from local orchards, to potato & spinach soup, sourcing the greens & potatoes from right here in our Garden!
During the colder months, Garden Club moves indoors to do garden-based activities & crafts; students create worm bins, make birdseed pine-cone feeders, and are still cooking meals indoors with produce grown in Highland Youth Garden’s season-extension High Tunnel.
Students aren’t only playing and learning in the garden, though; they are instrumental in helping it grow. Each week, our Garden Club students are contributing to the garden in major ways, helping water crops, transplant seedlings, harvest produce, and more. By giving students a chance to “work” in the garden and High Tunnel, we’re also giving them an opportunity to engage civically and develop ownership of their space.
What Are Student Learning in Garden Club?
Our Green Teen Assistant Educators and the Lead Educator & Gardener develop STEM-based, Garden-centered program each week. Students are practicing math skills by measuring & charting corn stalks, they’re learning about simply engineered systems by using pitchforks to haul sweet potatoes out of the ground, and they’re watching in real time the transformation of ingredients by turning apples into applesauce- all while having a blast!
In addition to the STEM & garden learning, students are also developing critical social skills outside the normal settings of their homes and classrooms, like learning how to work in a team, critical thinking, and conflict resolution.
Who runs Garden Club?
Our Lead Educator and Lead Gardener oversee the program, but, generally, our Green Teen Assistant Educators run the show! Each Thursday, the 4 teens get together and plan out the themes & STEM-based activities of the next Garden Club.
But these aren’t just any average teens- our assistant educator teens are west-side locals who went through an 8-week, extensive Green Teens program over the summer. When accepted into their school-year positions as Green Teen Assistant Educators, they also receive training in STEM-based education, environmental education, and childhood conflict management from professionals during their time with Highland Youth Garden.
There is always an adult on staff during Garden Club who has passed a BCI & FBI background check, and who is CPR & first aid certified.