How a vegetable garden inspired learning, patience & empathy

Dina Younis \
October 19, 2018

Cuyahoga Falls High School educators, Steven McIntosh (Interventions Specialist) and Steve Newlon (Social Studies)  started a garden to provide students and teachers with a fresh, new opportunity to meet learning standards and empower students to take ownership of their learning by using the garden as an extension of the classroom.  The Cuyahoga Falls Fresh Farm all started with a small grant from a local alumni association and after receiving a GAR Educator Initiative Grant, both the idea and garden grew to include additional space to plant vegetables, as well as an opportunity for general education and special education students to work together on a number of projects. Several subject areas, including Biology, Language Arts, Art, and Consumer Sciences, also utilize the garden for learning opportunities for things like soil testing, drawing, and writing.

Meanwhile, down the road at DeWitt Elementary School, fourth and fifth grade social studies teachers, Heidi Short and Sarah Suboticki were busy working on their second grant project from GAR and expanding their Greener and Cleaner at DeWitt program. Through this multi-faceted, environmentally conscience initiative, students experience different career paths, and have the opportunity to envision their “future sense of self.” The Greener and Cleaner concept encourages students to work towards promoting green practices around the school environment through recycling, understanding the affect of technological advances on the quality of life, and creating spaces that are environmentally conscience and employ sustainable practices.

In this video, we follow the story of these educators and their students to see how the two schools came together to create green spaces that inspire learning, patience, and empathy in the classroom, district, and community.