• Improve social skills and behavior
• Instill appreciation and respect for nature that lasts into adulthood
• Improve life skills, including working with groups and self-understanding
• Contribute to communication of knowledge and emotions, while developing skills that will help students be more successful in school
• Have a positive impact on student achievement and behavior.
Gardening ties students to the social and material history of the land. Like a team sport or mascot, gardening can offer a symbolic locus of school pride and spirit. Gardening offers schools a way of helping children to identify with their school and to feel proud of their own individual contribution. Children know which plants they helped to grow, and they feel proud of them.
We know that by deepening children’s sense of connection with nature, school gardening can inspire environmental stewardship. When children learn about water and energy cycles, the food chain, and the peculiar needs of individual species, and when they feel a sense of connection to a certain species or individual plant, they have a reason to care about all the forces that impact that plant’s future. A garden offers many occasions for achieving insight into the long-term human impact on the natural environment. From the water shortage to the over-use of pesticides, children who engage in gardening have first-hand opportunities to observe the importance of conservation and intelligent allocation of resources.