Photo: Jenna Jaski of Victory Gardens Vancouver helps facilitate the Classroom Gardener program at East Van’s David Livingstone elementary school. The program is one of many across the city that aim to get students out of classrooms and into the garden and the kitchen. Photo by Dan Toulgoet
It’s pouring rain as a class of Grade 1/2 students at David Livingstone elementary huddle under a white tent next to the school’s garden. The children take turns running, dodging puddles, to a plot at the far end of the garden to plant their garlic cloves, which will sprout and grow over the fall and winter, ready for harvest next spring.
David Livingstone is one of several Vancouver schools taking part in the Classroom Gardener program. Founder Megan Zeni, who is also an educator — she teaches at a Richmond school as well as does professional development for teachers — said she designed the program in response to teachers looking for ways to get their students outside.
“There’s a lot of research globally and locally that’s telling us about the positive impacts on children,” she told the Courier.
“Teachers are looking for ways to get kids learning outside because they need to get kids moving and there’s a ton of benefit for children’s physical health being outside,” she said, adding that being outside also has mental health benefits. READ MORE
October 23, 2017