“It’s got everybody working side by side,” she said. “Our autism class waters and weeds. The front office gives shredded paper for the compost. Our special education class got the hoses donated. It’s become one common goal.”
Business teacher Pshantal Dean-McGruder jumped at the chance to involve her students in the garden project.
“This is my 20th year teaching business ed, and I’ve had to come up with many ways to teach business skills and the principles and processes in a way that impacts students,” she said. “It’s more than just researching a career. Farm-to-table is a big push in agriculture now that lent itself to our curriculum.”
The school store adds to her student’s financial literacy lessons. “We’ve had parents come in and act as the store owners,” she said. “The students learn how to manage money on a budget so they can buy food items, little games and toys we’ve had donated. It’s a real eye-opener.”
By connecting the courses behind a common project, teachers are also providing another valuable lesson, said Dean-McGruder. “There are benefits to the students who see how we collaborate. It’s more than an idea — the adults are doing it, too.”