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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Will raising plants raise test scores at Mt. Washington Elementary?

Mt. Washington Elementary School will soon be able to take advantage of a new learning tool: a vegetable garden. The Los Angeles Conservation Corps. recently built a row of raised planter boxes on the campus a few weeks after the Mt. Washington PTA Garden Committee received a $1,200 grant to fund its Edible Garden Project. The garden committee members say the process of planting, tending and harvesting food - or flowers - can complement classroom learning on topics ranging from math and science to nutrition:

"School garden programs, like the one being initiated here, have been proven to improve test scores in the sciences. For example, third, fourth and fifth grade students who participated in a school garden program scored significantly higher on science achievement tests than students who did not participate in a school garden program ... A garden project helps children learn to take responsibility for their environment and can help them develop a strong sense of community toward a sustainable future. Perhaps most importantly, the excitement of nurturing a seed, watching it grow and harvesting its produce will have a huge impact on our kids’ desire to eat healthful foods."

The PTA group plans on building more raised planting beds as well as native gardens at the school.

Related stories:
* Big blue barrier comes between a Mt. Washington parent and a neighborhood school. The Eastsider

Photo by Sara Fairchild

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