The Learning Garden is an experiential learning environment designed as an extension of the school playground. Children will engage the garden during free time – before or after school or during lunch and recess. Teachers will incorporate the physical garden into lesson plans and curricular activities. The Kitchen [Community] is currently launching a six-school pilot program within the Chicago Public School District. Five of these schools are either K-8 or middle school and are the focus of the study. The study will evaluate and determine to what degree changes in behavioral patterns and academic performance are associated with the new built environment, and make recommendations for refinement and improvement for local and national implementation.
1) Increase children’s exposure to a garden environment by 20%
2) Increase children’s awareness of fresh fruits and vegetables by 20%
3) Increase children’s consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables by one serving a week
4) Foster and increase positive types of children’s play
5) Show a positive correlation between outdoor learning environments and increased science and literacy scores
1) Direct schoolyard observation in two waves – one immediately after installation and one prior to the fall harvest. Mobile GIS technology will document location and types of play.
2) Administer survey to students, parents, community members and school staff twice, May-June 2012 and October 2012 after the final harvest is complete.
3) Analyze student achievement scores for 4th and 7th graders at two of the pilot schools.
4) Conduct focus groups with teachers, parents and students.
Irma C. Ruiz Elementary, Miles Davis Magnate Academy, Lavizzo Elementary, Jonathan Burr Elementary, Carter G. Woodson, University of Colorado Denver, Chicago Public Schools, The Kitchen [Community], Openlands
For More Information:
Lois A. Brink, Director
Colorado Center for Community Development
720-939-5194 or firstname.lastname@example.org