Today I wanted to talk about a non-profit organization that is actually changing student's lives and enhancing education: Groundworks. This organization works to establish teaching gardens in schools across the mid-west. The schools contact them, they discuss what the teaching gardens can offer and let the schools share what they would like to see, come in to build and set up the beds, and provide supplies and access to teaching resources for the schools to use. They do not force anything on the schools that they do not want. They do not have a "secret" agenda to push certain ideas on students. They do not try to be something they think everyone wants, but actually listen and try to be true to the desires of those that come to them.
Groundworks has established teaching beds in several elementary schools in Sioux Falls and will be building beds in Lennox, Rapid City, Dell Raids, and has had several other schools contact them. That is one of the many ways I think Groundworks gets it right. As a teacher, I am worn out when all the newest concepts and ideas are pushed and forced on me by others. There is no understanding that each teacher is a unique individual that brings in different strengths and weaknesses.
I am glad to see Lennox bring in teaching gardens, because it offers a lot of potential opportunities for children to experience. They can get hands on learning by associating different concepts while working in the garden, it can provide a safe place for kids and parents to be, and it can increase the idea of growing foods that many children, even in a rural community like Lennox, are simply not exposed to.
I encourage people to look into organizations like Groundworks and support them. I am not saying that just because I think the Communications Director is the most beautiful woman I know, but because it is really an exceptional idea that needs to be supported.