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Rhodes and Brewster Elementary Use Science of Gardening As Teaching Tool

Publication Date: 11/19/2012

Students from Rhodes College and The University of Memphis, in partnership with GrowMemphis, Memphis City Schools and One Memphis, have been working with students of the William Herbert Brewster Elementary School in maintaining a garden at the school that serves as an outdoor classroom. The school is located adjacent to the Midtown and Overton Park communities, and the group has planted onions, kale, lettuce, and other greens.

“The Brewster Urban Garden (BUG) is a great learning tool for students,” says Brewster Elementary Principal Angela Askew. “It is allowing them to have authentic learning experiences as well as have a true sense of ownership in their learning. We truly appreciate the help of the students at Rhodes College and The University of Memphis.”

Rhodes students Meagan Keller-Fowler, Catherine Carlile and Danielle Jones have been on the leadership team for creating the garden project, and ten other Rhodes students volunteer in the garden on a regular basis.

Rhodes student Elizabeth Patterson organized the volunteers as an Urban Fellow in Mayor Wharton′s office for the One Memphis initiative which serves to foster a spirit of volunteerism and community engagement especially among students in Memphis.

“This garden will not only serve as a means of campus and neighborhood beautification but also as an integral part of the Brewster Elementary curriculum and school culture. Already we have seen teachers taking their classes to the garden to learn why onions and greens grow a certain time of year and how they grow,” says Patterson. “We see this as a revolutionary kind of teaching because these students will learn the concepts they are expected to learn in the classroom in addition to practical knowledge about sustainable living, eating locally and nutrition that can most effectively be taught in a garden setting.”

Interested in learning more or volunteering, contact patse@rhodes.edu or sarah.patterson@memphistn.gov

 Volunteer Danielle Jones ’14 with Brewster Elementary students

Tags: Science, Service, Students


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