Social media abounds with memes, articles, and posts about the limitations on school budgets. School administrators are tasked with the difficult decision of how to get maximum results with limited means. Decisions about how to spend campus budgets must be made through the filter of student achievement, and any funds spent that do not directly impact student achievement can lead to scrutiny.
School gardens bring a variety of opportunities that benefit students and staff both academically and socially. Read our article 3 Reasons Your School Needs a Garden Program to learn more about these benefits. At Ready to Grow Gardens, we believe that the best endorsement of our program comes from those we serve. Ready to Grow Gardens is proud to serve 35 schools in the greater Houston area, and here is why those schools choose to spend their limited funds on our Garden Day program.
“We are smart enough to know what we don’t know.” – Catherine Bartlett, Principal, Lone Star Elementary
When pondering a school garden program, schools might consider implementing the garden build and subsequent instruction independently. Anyone who has ever tried a DIY and had a “Pinterest fail” knows the value of relying on the expertise of professionals. Ready to Grow Gardens is owned and operated by Stephanie Baker who earned her Texas Master Gardener Certification from the Texas Cooperative Extensive and Harris County Master Gardener Association in June of 2003. Because factors such as sunlight, soil quality, and adequate irrigation can be deal breakers for a successful garden, Stephanie‘s knowledge and expertise and her well-trained staff are critically important. Ready to Grow Gardens has been in business for 17 years, has served thousands of students, and currently serves 30 campuses through their Garden Day program. This experience and expertise ensures successful implementation and results.
“The Garden Day Program aligns with our curriculum, and we can address the TEKS as they engage in a hands-on experience.”
– Leticia Curiel, Science Instructional Specialist Grades 2-5, Horne Elementary
While some schools use PTO funding to pay for their Garden Day Program, many schools utilize Title I funding for this specialized instruction. Because Title I funding must be spent in ways that directly tie to student achievement for at-risk students, schools must use a critical eye when identifying how those funds will be spent. Because the Garden Day Program by Ready to Grow Gardens is aligned to state standards with high-quality activities and exceptional instruction, this program meets the stringent funding standards set forth by the federal government. Students will experience science in a hands-on environment that will deepen their understanding of critical science concepts to ensure mastery.
“The Ready to Grow Gardens staff is always prepared, knowledgeable and flexible.” – Elizabeth Franklin, Teacher, CFISD
Entering any establishment, we all know that staff can make or break an experience. Knowledge, paired with congeniality and preparedness are critical parts of a quality instructional program. Ready to Grow Gardens staff are well trained, friendly, and just like the mail service, they are reliable! Meredith Boudreaux, Science Resource Teacher at Reed Elementary states, “I love that a knowledgeable staff member comes out (rain or shine) with a prepared lesson for all abilities of our children. You have the materials ready, on time, and ready to work.” Because of their experience in a variety of settings with a variety of students, Ready to Grow Gardens staff are easily able to make adjustments on their feet. Every campus and every student is different and being able to meet the needs of all is important. Catherine Bartlett, Principal at Lone Star Elementary says, “We love the staff and the way each lesson can be tweaked to fit our campus needs.” Reliability, professionalism, and experience are a few of the benefits of working with a professional program like Ready to Grow Gardens.
When considering implementing a school garden program, every campus principal has the option to go it alone. But, there is also the option to enlist the professional services of Ready to Grow Gardens and let them help you implement a high-quality, impactful program that makes a difference for your students both academically and socially. Ready to Grow Gardens is ready to partner with you to give your students and staff experiences and knowledge that will last a lifetime.
~ Jennifer Vest for Ready to Grow Gardens
About Ready to Grow Gardens:
Ready to Grow Gardens of Tomball, Texas and owner, Stephanie Baker, and her staff provide high-quality instruction which not only teaches students the basics of gardening and how the school garden ties to their state standards, but also help students engage in discussions and increasing their ability to connect with others.