Thanks to American Heart Association and Aetna, Project-based Learning at Wish School is Blossoming
The American Heart Association and Aetna helped the Fred D. Wish Museum School take a giant step toward achieving their goal of using a school garden for project-based classroom learning and for family and community engagement efforts. This fall volunteers from the two organizations worked with students from the school to clear an old playground area and build 10 beautiful new garden beds. Students had a chance to plant seedlings in the beds to bring the garden to life. The new garden, called the American Heart Association Teaching Garden, will be used by grades 3-5.
Wish School had already started a garden-based curriculum with their second graders. For several years the students in the second grade, with assistance from the Hartford School Garden Council, have gardened in two beds on the other side of the school. The success of that program inspired the school to expand the use of gardens with additional grades. This year the school has a FoodCorps service member to assist with that effort. Hands on Hartford and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care have also helped the school’s gardening efforts. Last spring they donated picnic tables and painted existing garden beds.
Recently the second grade classes harvested vegetables from their garden and made a vegetable soup. The students learned about new vegetables, and everyone had an opportunity to taste the soup they helped make. Hands-on gardening lessons give students the chance to see where healthy food comes from, explore key nutrients in healthy food, and learn how to prepare it and incorporate it into their diet. Produce from the garden is also used for taste tests, which gives students the opportunity to try new vegetables.
Wish School second-graders making soup with Alex Jannello from FoodCorps using the vegetables harvested from their garden
Wish School is always looking for parents to volunteer to take care of the garden during the school year and/or during the summer. If you are interested, email Katherine Wood at WOODK001@hartfordschools.org.