On Saturday, August 23, Plant the Seed presented a panel about experiential garden education in schools at a teacher training event sponsored by the Tennessee Residence Master Gardeners and the University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension. The event, held on the grounds of the Tennessee Residence and hosted by First Lady Crissy Haslam, drew about 45 teachers, administrators, parents, community organizers, and gardeners together to talk about school gardens and garden education in the greater Nashville area. Plant the Seed’s panel included Founder and Director Susannah Fotopulos, PTS Site Coordinators Megan Lightell and Liz Meeks, and Dan Mills Elementary 3rd grade teacher and garden advocate Laura Young. The panelists shared their experiences supporting school gardens at the Nashville International Academy, Cameron Middle School, Dan Mills Elementary, and, most recently, the model pre-k Early Learning Centers at Metro Nashville Public Schools. The local teachers asked questions regarding organizing lesson plans for different age groups, how to achieve sustainability with school garden projects, and best practices for engaging children in learning about the local food system. Plant the Seed appreciated the invitation and was grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with teachers and administrators to strengthen environmental education outreach to local children.
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