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The Garden Education Program instills in students a love of working with the land, promotes a lifelong connection to the earth, and helps build future environmental stewards

Through hands-on work in the garden, children learn about the natural growing cycle.  Our garden serves as a place to make scientific observations and discoveries.  Math lessons in the garden provide a real-world context for learning measurement and sharpening other math skills.  English Language Arts lessons in the garden provide an opportunity for writers to mirror the feelings Thoreau might have had while writing.
Learning to be shomrei adamah (guardians of the earth) and to do tikkun olam (repairing the world) naturally occurs while working in the garden.

Each grade has its own plot to manage and care for throughout the year, with most of the activity taking place in late summer, early fall, and in the spring.  Some grades devote a season-long unit of learning in the garden.

Students discover a love of eating fresh vegetables right from the garden.  A tomato tastes much better when a child knows she has grown it herself!  From mint lemonade made with mint from our garden, to birdhouses created from gourds grown in the garden, to sugar snap peas being incorporated into our hot lunch program, students eat and use as much of our produce as possible.

JCDSRI composts to help minimize trash and to provide high quality compost for our garden.  Every classroom has a compost container. Fifth graders collect the compost daily and deposit it into our compost turner.

The Garden Team is composed of two faculty members and a group of fabulous parent volunteers.  Over the summer, JCDS families care for our garden.  Summer volunteers have the added benefit of eating the summer harvest.  If you are interested in joining the garden team, please contact Jamie Faith Woods, Garden Coordinator at jfwoods@jcdsri.org   

Our Garden Education Program is funded entirely by grants.  Please contact the office or visit our Support page on this website that allows on-line donations, if you wish to make a donation to this important educational fund.