Depending on your climate, Winter can be a very harsh time for the garden. Bushels of summer produce give way to bare branches, withering stems, and browning perennials. Now’s the time to clear the remnants of Harvest Season, prepare perennials for Winter, and build soil health for Spring. Working with your students, you can take steps to keep your garden in shape, even during its rest season. With a little effort, you can harvest later into the season and get a head start on your Spring crops.
PLG Resource Library to Find Tips on Preparing and Extending Your Growing Season
New Program Launch!
We are very excited to introduce Project Hero! Project Hero is an interactive digital tool that uses storytelling to guide students through frameworks we call Quests to teach Standards across all elementary grades. Each Quest is tailored to a specific problem and guides students through a learning journey using critical thinking and other 21st Century skills to develop real-world solutions to local environmental problems. There are a host of Quests in the lineup set to be released over the next year, so the areas of focus will continue to expand.
For educators already using Project Learning Garden as a platform for digging into standards through garden-based learning, there are two Quests we consider must haves for your instructional toolbox: Pollinator Quest and Soil Quest. These Quests offer pathways for teachers and students to engage with their gardens and other outdoor spaces through meaningful and relevant projects.
Raising student awareness about topics related to a species in crisis in their local environment, students are guided along natural pathways to empathy, engagement, and empowerment, through participation in projects that matter.
There is a small grant opportunity related to each registered Quest, providing funds to help support the implementation of associated projects. Project Hero is the next step in making Project Learning Garden an even more powerful teaching and learning tool. And it is free and available for everyone. Links to the Pollinator and Soil Quests are below.
It is estimated that one out of every three bites we eat is thanks to a pollinator. These small but mighty creatures play a vital role in our food chains and ecosystems as the porters of pollen from one flower to another. But these creatures are under immense pressure from human behaviors, and they need our help to survive and thrive.
We rarely think about the soil that is under our feet, but it actually plays a crucial role in how we get the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the climate we live in.
Without healthy soils, life on Earth gets a lot harder.
But, right now, soils and the life it supports are not healthy - and the natural cycles that soil drives are out of balance.
The Application for Project Learning Garden 2020 Is Live!
The PLG application is open until January 31st, 2020. We're expanding in the Atlanta area - see if your school district is eligible to apply!
Are you already a PLG educator? Refer a friend and we'll send you a token of thanks.
Congratulations New PLG Schools!
We’re sending a warm WELCOME to the newest members of the PLG community! We’re ever grateful for our partnership with Dole Packaged Foods and local retailers who make it possible to share Project Learning Garden across the country.
Brookwood Elementary School - Snellville, GA
Callaway Elementary School - Baltimore, MD
Concord Elementary School - St. Louis, MO
Dutton Christian School - Caledonia, MI
East Side Elementary School - Chattanooga, TN
Ferdinand T. Day Elementary School - Alexandria, VA
George G. Doge Intermediate School - Twinsburg, OH
Gurney Elementary School - Chagrin Falls, OH
Innovation Academy - Oro Valley, AZ
Kuumba Acadamy - Wilmington, DE
Martin Luther King Elementary School - Portland, OR
McDonald Elementary School - Spokane Valley, WA
Meadow Lane Elementary School - Lees Summit, MO
Millstream Elementary School - Victoria, B.C.
New Creation Fellowship Academy - Cheektowaga, NY
Parkview Elementary School - Van Buren, AR
Ruth King Elementary School - Victoria, B.C.
Shawanoe Elementary School - Shawnee, KS
Sheboygan Leadership Academy - Sheboygan, WI
Spring Hill Elementary School - Knoxville, TN
St. John Vianney School - Spokane Valley, WA
Sylvan Park Elementary School - Van Nuys, CA
CPF Offers More Grants and Programs to Complement Your Project Learning Garden
Visit our website to learn about additional grants and programs offered by Captain Planet Foundation. These are great additions for schools who have already received Project Learning Garden. Most grant application windows close January 15th, 2020. Check them out today!
ecoSTEM Kits - These kits are awarded as grants. Each kit contains materials, lessons and resources to support explorations and experiments in STEM related projects. Currently the ecoSTEM kits available include Earth, Water, Pollination, and Renewable Energy. This application window is open until January 15, 2020.
ecoSolution Grants - Small grants are awarded to support student-led projects that result in a local environmental impact. This application window is open until January 15, 2020.
ecoTech Grants - These small grants are specifically designated for STEM based projects that leverage technology to address local environmental problems. This application window is also open until January 15, 2020.
Ocean Heroes - This is a joint initiative that involves students from multiple countries and continents converging in one central location annually for a youth summit. Participants are led through a series of workshops and activities that prepare them to return to their homes with a plan for action against ocean pollution. This initiative has a very wide reach; it is growing and evolving with every iteration. Attendance is not free, but there are grants available to assist with travel and lodging for some participants.
Canvas Will Re-open February 1, 2020
PLG Canvas courses are scheduled to open again February 1st, 2020. We’ve restructured these courses for PLG educators in response to your much appreciated feedback (Thank you!). All new grantees will enroll in the course(s) specific to the grade levels they teach. Here are a few things to know if you’ve previously enrolled in PLG-T 101:
- PLG-T 101 K-5 D and PLG-T 101 K-5 will close permanently April 1st, 2020. If you have previously enrolled in one of these courses but did not complete the course, you will have until April 1st, 2020 to complete them. After this date, you will need to re-enroll and complete new PLG-T course requirements to receive credit for certification.
- PLG-S 101 and PLG-S 101 D will close permanently April 1st, 2020. If you have previously enrolled in this course but have not completed it, you will have until April 1st, 2020 to finish the coursework. After that date you will need to submit the 2020 edition of the Garden Planner to receive credit for completion. Submission of your Garden Planner is the requirement your school must meet to receive grant materials.
Warm Recipes for Cooler Days
Events & Opportunities
Attention Educators in the Atlanta Area: We've done some Winter Cleaning, and you can stock up on items you can use for Spring! We're hosting a giveaway here at our office next month. Join us January 11, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. You'll get a chance to meet and greet some of your fellow educators and leave with a box of goodies for your classroom and garden - all FREE, just RSVP to let us know you're coming. We'll see you then!
Looking for some opportunities to network and learn from peers and other experts in the field? We've got a list of conferences and events you might find interesting.
Coming in 2020: PLG Educator In-Service Certification
Look out for information about how to receive PLG Educator Certification by sharing some of the great work you’ve already done.
Be prepared to identify a goal you’ve set and the garden-based project or activities you’ve used to reach for that goal. In exchange, you’ll be recognized in our network as an accomplished PLG Certified Educator, making you eligible to participate in our PLG Pathways to Expertise, set to launch in 2020.
PLG Pathways to Expertise will be offered to educators who have achieved foundational PLG Educator Certification and wish to dig deeper into specific topics related to garden-based instruction.
These pathways will provide a framework for teachers to demonstrate a deep understanding and practical application of topics important to educators using their gardens and outdoor spaces as learning labs.
Some topics will include: soil health, beneficial insects, organic growing, cooking with kids, STEAM in the garden, and more.
You can help us decide which Pathways to release first by telling us which topics you’d be most interested in learning about. If you haven’t, please take a minute (literally) to complete this survey.
Thank You to Our Funders
We’d love to see how you’re using your learning garden and cooking materials to support your instruction and projects on campus. How? Upload photos, tips, stories, and questions related to your school garden projects to our Facebook group page.