Letter: What can be taught in a school garden?

What can be taught in a school garden? Workplace standards: Almost all can be covered as students are involved in the planning and development of the garden experience. Math: Design, planning, layout, budgeting, water and fertilizer requirements, growth measurements, counting fruits and seeds. Science: Plant science, how things grow, plant parts, adaptations, climate, entomology, compost, technology, the scientific method; developing and testing theories. Language Arts: Journaling, gardening and plant heritage books, poetry. Social Studies: Heritage gardens, cultural influences on foods and gardens. Art: Developing garden art projects.

Local funding and community sponsors are necessary to bridge the gap of decreasing school resources. Mohave County School Gardening Program would like to acknowledge all the past and present sponsors from 2006 to 2010: Mike File, Mohave County school superintendent; the city of Kingman Clean City Commission; the state of Arizona Forestry Division Community Challenge Grant Program; Cerbat Garden Club; Desert de Oro Foods, Inc.; KRMC Foundation; Kingman Home Depot; Kingman True Value; Kingman Super Walmart; Mandarin Orchard House; Mohave County Master Gardeners; SIGNS of Chaos, and many others who wish to be "anonymous" donors. We also want to acknowledge our local schools and teachers who "keep agriculture science growing in the classrooms." In the fall of 2010 (September to December), these 47 teachers participating in our hands-on gardening lessons: Kingman Academy of Learning Primary School (PreK-2: Andrade, Arnold, Bowman, Charon, Garfield, Harnish, Julle, Kremenak, Mansfield, Medlin, Osterman, Page, Pitts, Schwab, Stephens, Williams and Wilson-Smith); KAOL Intermediate (3rd-5th: Gilbert, Gordon, Jennings, Marzley, McLarty, Newberry, A. Perrine, Pettigrew, Loritz-Kieffer, Lowe, Lucier, Snelling); KUSD Hualapai (4th-5th: Angle, Cobanovich, King, Oder, Scheidegger); KUSD La Senita (3rd: Brown, Clark, Dimattia and Warren; 5th: Bighead, Riverdal, and Wright); Workshop for Teachers (Baitinger, Bighead, Black, Diaz, Grimes, Swords, and Weninger). Special recognition to two gracious teachers who took the lead in the after-school gardening club at their campus for all 4th and 5th grade students: KAOL (Newberry); KUSD La Senita (Wright). Thank you to all active sponsors and teachers who make "AG-in-the-Classroom" parts of everyday learning for our students, enable them to take part in the outdoor learning oasis, celebrate Arbor Day, beautify their campus, and have pride in their accomplishment.

Nina Brackett

Cooperative Extension