What does it take to be a Veggie Educator?
Just a willingness to dig in! We call our programs 'turn-key' because we ship everything necessary to grow an indoor garden and teach the lessons included in the Lesson Guide.
Your classroom will be so excited when the Veggie U shipment arrives! Inside the boxes are seed packets, soil, planting trays and pots, your grow light, your root viewers-- and soon a shipment of live worms for your worm farm and vermiculture studies. The Lesson Guide and instructional videos walk you through all the steps necessary to set everything up so your students can start right away earning their green thumbs.
Veggie U helps remind children how real food reaches their plate. Today, children can be surprised to learn that carrots are a root and grow underground. They're surprised that peas don't originally come frozen in bags!
A classroom garden allows all students to participate in growing edible plants, regardless of their mobility or the climate where they live. And, children learn so much in a garden! Of course they learn important science concepts like life cycles and photosynthesis, but the children also gain self-esteem from tending living things and respect for how our earth provides for our needs.
Here's what some of your fellow educators had to say about the Veggie U Classroom Garden programs:
"I wanted to personally thank you for sharing such a wonderful experience with our students. This is my 30th year of teaching and I don't think I have ever done anything this exciting, and the children are learning so much!" Kathleen Dykhuizen, Fort Wayne, IN
Adelle Nader, Intervention Specialist, NPESC [Regarding the Veggie U A+] said, "I have six students in my class. They range from 7 years old to 10. They range from very low to mid-range educational level compared to their same aged peers. They are all diagnosed with multiple disabilities (cognitively delayed, down syndrome, autism) and are in a self-contained classroom where they receive a significantly modified curriculum. All of my children are verbal to some extent - very low to medium verbally.
"They love Veggie U! We have planted the seeds and it has been awesome to see their faces every day when they come in and see how much the plants have grown. They are asking questions, loving the Farmer in our Chapter Books and the videos. We check out the worm farm daily and they love to see the worms wiggling around. The tasting of the veggies was very interesting - I was surprised by the students that DID taste - I totally expected them not to (sensory issues)! It was great! Thanks so much for providing this opportunity!"
"I just wanted to [tell you about] the class trying the veggies today. They loved it!! The students that I am working with are from very low income families and many of them do not get to eat fresh fruits and veggies at home. These kids gobbled it up and asked for more. It is a small class so I was able to allow them to have what they wanted. The students really enjoy this program. They see me in the hall and talk veggie to me. It's great and it's the first week. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to have Veggie U in our district." Kathy Fulk, Southern Local School District
"My class loved this. They were very excited to taste the vegetables and grow our seeds. They took notes in their science notebooks complete with diagrams. They taped each mystery seed in with a description of the seed and their prediction. Their social skills improved as they worked in groups. Thank you!" Lynne Connelly, Walbridge Elementary, Toledo
Noble Elementary School teacher Judy Downie, Tiffin, OH said, "The Veggie U program is important because it provides a connection for children between the food that is on their plate, where it comes from, and the impact it has on them. It teaches children about making wise eating choices, provides a strong foundation in science, and introduces children to the concept of sustainable agriculture."