- What is Veggie U and Classroom Garden education?
- How long has Veggie U been in existence?
- How many students have benefitted from Veggie U?
- How do schools get a Classroom Garden program?
- How is the Veggie U program funded? What are the costs?
- How will my donation be used?
- How else can I get involved?
- What will students learn in Veggie U?
- I heard Veggie U kits are sometimes supplied at no charge. How do I get funding assistance?
- I do not know how to grow vegetables. Will you show me how, so I can teach my students?
- Do I need to gather all of the resources to teach this curriculum?
- Is there some way Veggie U can help students continue on a path of healthy eating once they "graduate" from Veggie U?
- How can parents get involved?
- How will I know if the curriculum made a difference?
What is Veggie U and Classroom Garden education?
Veggie U is a unique 5-week program taught in the Life Science module of elementary school, usually third or fourth grade. The program comes complete with 25 standards based lessons and all the components needed to grow a garden right in the classroom. Students not only learn about photosynthesis and leaf types like traditional lessons, but they also "get their hands dirty" planting and growing real food!
How long has Veggie U been in existence?
Veggie U was developed in 2003 with the help of farmers, chefs, nutritionists, physicians, and teachers. Veggie U is managed by a full time staff of administrators, and governed by an independent Board of Directors (see Our Team).
How many students have benefitted from Veggie U?
Veggie U classroom gardens have sprouted in well over 6,500 classrooms nationwide, in 36 states and Washington DC. We've recently grown gardens in Hawaii and Alaska, and our A+ program for autism and special needs classrooms is growing wildly. We've also recently had interest from both Alzheimer and preschool specialists, which would enable a full-spectrum of new gardens. We estimate nearly 165,000 students have benefitted from our Classroom Garden education programs.
How do schools get a Classroom Garden program?
It's easy! Just fill out the Veggie U Classroom Garden Request Form. A staff member will call you to discuss available funding, if needed.
How is the Veggie U program funded? What are the costs?
Veggie U works hard to provide the Classroom Garden Program at no cost to schools. We are able to do this through the generosity of our donors and grantors. Sometimes funds are restricted by donors to specific geographic areas or populations. If funding isn't available for a particular school, we work with the school to identify local sources of funds. Visit Fundraiser Resources for ideas on how you can help fund your Classroom Garden. A new Primary Classroom Garden and a new A+ Garden are each $450. We are able to re-supply the perishable contents of the gardens for $225 in subsequent years. We are so grateful to all our donors that we are able to supply so many classrooms at no cost to schools.
How will my donation be used?
We will use your tax deductible donation to help supply Classroom Gardens to schools nationwide. We also welcome your support for specific projects, such as educational videos, new games or marketing our program so that more schools learn about Veggie U.
How else can I get involved?
Veggie U has many volunteer opportunities in our Oberlin, Ohio, office, such as packing program components, clerical work and research. We also welcome guest blog posts, healthy recipe submissions and other ideas. Send your suggestions to Ask[at]VeggieU[dot]org
What will students learn in Veggie U?
Veggie U lessons offer a hands-on opportunity to learn about planting seeds, germination, growing and harvesting vegetables. The curriculum includes material on healthy eating and nutrition, along with recipes for healthy snacks. It was designed to meet national standards for life science, health and nutrition, as well as numerous language arts and math benchmarks.
I heard Veggie U kits are sometimes supplied at no charge. How do I get funding assistance?
Limited assistance is available depending on the current donations and grants Veggie U has received at any given time. Please contact us so we know you're interested. If funds aren't available, we'll place you on a request list. Many teachers have had success asking their school districts to support the program, or their PTO's, local Garden Clubs, or business sponsors. There are also teacher grants available in some areas. We'll do our best to help match you with assistance if needed. Fundraiser Resources will give you some ideas on funding methods that have worked for others folks.
I do not know how to grow vegetables. Will you show me how, so I can teach my students?
Do I need to gather all of the resources to teach this curriculum?
Veggie U provides all major components for you to successfully complete the 5-week program - grow light, root viewers, propagation trays, soils, seed varieties, and grow flats, and worms for a worm farm. We also provide funds for the purchase of tasting vegetables and Feast Day materials. The Lesson Guide includes 25 lessons, 50 pages of reproducible handouts, and a minimal list of supplementary materials to be provided by the teacher (like newspaper, napkins, pens, scissors, tape).
Is there some way Veggie U can help students continue on a path of healthy eating once they "graduate" from Veggie U?
Yes! We have developed this website with continuing education in mind. Students and parents will be able to find fun ways to connect with and further exercise their new knowledge online through games, recipes, and activities they can do at home. Check out our Family Fun area!
How can parents get involved?
Activities for the 5-week curriculum can easily involve parents (and other family members). Parents may help with some of the classroom projects and can attend the Feast Day celebration. There are class exercises that can be continued at home, such as allowing the vegetables to grow longer. Also, visit our Family Fun link for games, crafts, recipes and other fun activities you can do as a family.
How will I know if the curriculum made a difference?
Each student participating in the classroom curriculum will participate in both a pre- and post- attitudinal survey (Veggietudes) to show how the curriculum influenced how they feel about eating fresh vegetables and living healthy lives. An optional Unit Assessment is also included in the curriculum for those teachers who wish to use it.