Gardens and Outdoor Classrooms
Learning in an outdoor setting with fresh air and sunshine promotes clear thinking and a greater connection to our world, even if that is simply sitting with a book among a grove of trees, covering a seed with soil, or creating sketches of school landscapes. Children learn and succeed when each area of development is supported--intellectual, physical, social and emotional.
Outdoor spaces in schools foster such growth in unique ways. Learning alongside fruit trees and veggie patches inspires students to eat well and get outside, while providing a feeling of overall well being and meaningfulness.
Garden programs in our schools also serve as a bridge to science, nutrition and health lessons that directly tie into State curriculum standards. Paths to a fuller understanding of the foundations of science are built when students have the opportunity to put hands in the earth. Observations are made about water, soil, and small animal life while in the garden patch.
Students begin to build a greater appreciation of what is healthy for their bodies when they are able to tend to plants in a garden, growing nutritious items to share with the school community.
Schools throughout RCSD have various garden and outdoor learning initiatives supported by parent volunteers, community groups, outdoor education specialists, nonprofits, and partnerships with the California UC system. Working side by side in a garden space not only creates beautiful spaces but forges longlasting community relationships and a sense of purpose.