Since 2004 EEI has been partnering with Miami Dade County Public
School teachers and Three Sisters Organic Farm to establish
organic vegetable gardens within the schools, to be used as
outdoor, experiential learning centers. In this context teachers
and students can explore a wide range of subjects while
fulfilling the Florida Sunshine State Standards. Students learn
to take ownership and responsibility for their plants, write
poems about the garden, measure, chart and compare growth of the
plants, and learn about nutrition, food preparation and self
care. In addition, lessons about ecology, companion plants,
composting and decomposers present an opportunity for developing
a deep understanding of the interconnectedness of all living
things and the importance of diversity.
EEI encourages experiential learning through gardening by
providing plants and materials to begin the process. In addition
to providing supplies, EEI provides support for the teachers
throughout the year, beginning in the fall with the 'School
Gardens: Meeting Florida Educational Standards for Science'
workshop. In this workshop participants gain organic gardening
skills through hands-on activities. EEI provides materials,
resources and strategies for sustaining garden projects and for
integrating learning into the classroom.