ST. LOUIS (February 23rd, 2018)- Students in Gateway Greening’s Seed to STEM program keep growing thanks to a $205,000 grant from the Monsanto Fund for 2018-2019.
Gateway Greening has a long history of assisting St. Louis schools to fund and support school gardens. To help teachers effectively use the garden as an outdoor classroom and learning laboratory, Gateway Greening educators developed the Seed to STEM program.
“The Monsanto Fund grant makes it possible for Gateway Greening educators to provide weekly Seed to STEM lessons in five St. Louis Public Schools. Seed to STEM is a hands-on K-5 science curriculum that uses school gardens to reinforce Next Generation Science Standards, develop scientific inquiry skills, and inspire students to connect to their environment, food system and community,” said Lucy Herleth, Gateway Greeening’s School Program Manager. “With the Monsanto Fund grant, Gateway Greening is also able to support over 60 youth gardens as well as offer monthly educator workshops, district professional development and site-specific trainings.
The Seed to STEM curriculum is also available free to anyone that works with youth through the Gateway Greening website and its monthly educator email newsletter. Gateway Greening estimates that its school garden programs, along with the Seed to STEM initiative, have empowered more than 13,000 students across the St. Louis region to garden.
Lauren Hollis, a teacher at Clay Academy, said it takes “confidence” for educators to garden successfully with their students.
“In the beginning, I was so scared I was going to kill the plants,” said Hollis. “Now I have the experience and someone to answer questions. After going to the garden (for the past year), I would totally teach any lesson outside with confidence and not be worried.”
She also said gardening helps students to understand that food doesn’t just magically appear at the grocery store.
“Gardens help the students learn more about their environment and learn where their food is from,” she added. “Gardens help them see a process – a plant growing or a pumpkin decomposing.”
Clay Academy’s school garden was founded in 1993 and with the support of Gateway Greening educators and the Monsanto Fund, it has become a thriving outdoor classroom. Additionally, continued support from the Monsanto Fund will allow Gateway Greening to expand the Seed to STEM curriculum so that more teachers and students throughout the St. Louis region will have access to the program.
ABOUT GATEWAY GREENING
Gateway Greening, www.gatewaygreening.org, educates and empowers people to strengthen their communities through gardening and urban agriculture. Led by Executive Director Matt Schindler, the organization supports over 200 community gardens and food projects as well as 60 school gardens in the St. Louis, Missouri metropolitan area.
ABOUT THE MONSANTO FUND
The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of Monsanto Company, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the communities where farmers and Monsanto Company employees live and work. Visit the Monsanto Fund at www.monsantofund.org.