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Schoolyard Roots: Helping Our Children Grow

Tuscaloosa is fortunate to have Schoolyard Roots at eleven area elementary schools. Using teaching gardens, this program partners with local elementary schools to provide hands-on learning at its best.


Schoolyard Roots hands-on-learning

Schoolyard Roots allows for hands-on learning about gardening and nutrition.

With its core program Gardens 2 Schools, it brings project-based learning, outdoor exploration, and nutrition education to over 4,700 students in grades K-5.

Gardening skills

With its Alabama-State Standards-based curriculum, Schoolyard Roots allows children to plant and nurture seeds, care for them as they grow, and harvest and cook the vegetables they grew at the season’s end.

Consequently, students who participate in the program are more likely to try new foods and gain a sense of pride in what they have helped to nurture. In fact, teachers involved with Schoolyard Roots say that their students become quite excited about cooking and eating foods from their gardens.

Schoolyard Roots guide

Schoolyard Roots provides a downloadable guide for cooking in the classroom or at home.

Social skills

In addition to teaching gardening skills, Schoolyard Roots also teaches social skills. When children work together to cultivate a garden, they learn teamwork. Teachers in the partner schools say that students who participate in the garden program gain a sense of responsibility, self-control, and independence and that they are more likely to collaborate and work as a team in the garden.

And for those who might want to start a garden at home, there is a free garden tool kit on the website

Another great resource provided is the Alabama Garden Calendar, which gives tips on what to do each month in your garden.

Home gardening guide

To encourage at-home gardening, Schoolyard Roots provides this free guide on the website,

Connecting classroom to real-world

In these outdoor learning labs, students learn much more than gardening. They use math skills, learn science, use writing and reading skills, and even incorporate the arts. Teachers praise this program for its ability to connect classroom learning to the real world.

A Moveable Feast

A Moveable Feast

An easy way to support this program is to participate in A Moveable Feast during the week of September 25 to October 2. For more info, see

Interested in helping this wonderful program? One easy and delicious way to help is to participate in A Moveable Feast, from September 26 through October 2. Described as a roving celebration of local food and farms, this event is the fall fundraiser for Schoolyard Roots. To participate, simply order the “Schoolyard Roots Special” from any participating restaurant or brewery. You’ll enjoy a unique dish featuring local produce while supporting this worthy cause.

Connect with Schoolyard Roots

For more information on Schoolyard Roots, see their website and consider donating to this project. After all, what’s more, important than growing our children into active, healthy adults?

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