Youngstown Schools add gardening to the curriculum - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Youngstown Schools add gardening to the curriculum

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

From shoveling to raking to planting students in the Youngstown City school district are getting down and dirty this Spring, and it's all part of a new district-wide initiative. 

" Any subject matter can be incorporated into the garden, hands-on experience for the kids gets them out of the classroom," says Pat Lowry, Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Youngstown City School District.  

Youngstown Schools CEO Krish Mohip implemented the garden initiative this year and believes they will be essential to how students learn. 

"They just, I think the hands on activity really grabs them, pulls them in," says Mary Jo Ferguson, a teacher at Chaney High School. 

At Chaney High School, students and teachers prepare raised beds in front of the school; everything from cabbage to peppers to tomatoes all carefully planted using lessons they've learned inside the classroom. 

Ferguson adds, "There's math involved because they have to figure out, we want them to be this size by the time they go in, this is how quickly they grow, they look at the seed packets you know, when can you put them up out? When can these plants go out?"

"A lot of the young people, they don't actually know where the vegetables come from, and also for nutritional values because if children grow fruits and vegetables they're more apt to eat them," says Glenda House a former Master Gardener at East High School. 

Student volunteers will work the gardens throughout the summer, and in the fall students will learn to harvest the plants. 

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