Due to high drop out rates and math performance in the bottom 90th percentile in our partner schools, Jovial is building 3 more garden/ greenhouse classrooms to support state learning standards and increase matriculation rates in low income communities. A 20 year long study on school garden programs by the University of Portland found that 93 percent of schools reported improved student performance in science, 80 percent saw improvement in math, and 72 percent noted improvement in language art.
Students in low income neighborhoods often receive below average education and are more prone to dropping out, joining gangs, and ending up in jail. Challenges from inadequate books, poor quality or no access to lunches, working jobs at young ages, and personal issues keep them from school and from college. Since 1908 studies have found that school gardens create a deep bond between a student, their school, and their academics that is extended back to their home and daily decisions.
A school garden provides a meaningful context in which students can apply new academic concepts and skills. Whether they are graphing the temperature of their compost pile over time; reading a recipe to make fresh salsa; writing a story from the perspective of an ant; the opportunities for children to practice traditional academics in the garden are limitless! Students use their new found math and language skills to measure, calculate, graph, and communicate about what really matters to them.
The Carnegie Foundation says "our country's future depends on a broad foundation of math and science". Gardens provide opportunities for naturalistic and emergent scientific inquiry, shaping future careers and academic success. Through curricular activities such as farm-to-cafeteria, recycling, and composting, students learn about food production and consumption patterns that shape our world. School bonding through gardens fosters lower substance use, delinquency, violence, and academic issues