The community garden at George Washington Carver Montessori
School 87 keeps our students’ young green thumbs engaged and ready for
experiential learning opportunities.
Grounded with a mission to encourage community awareness,
respect and problem solving for every student, the school created a
student-centered garden three years ago that focuses on teaching them about
nutrition and the tools needed to create a sustainable food system.
The combined efforts of the Ivy Tech Associate Accelerated
Program (ASAP) and the George
Washington Carver Montessori Garden Project has provided students with access
to fresh food — something that many inner-city families are lacking.
Central Indiana is made up of 11 counties housing more than six
million Hoosiers. Of this population, 290,550 (15%) are food insecure, meaning
they are lacking reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable and
nutritious food. Marion County holds the highest food insecurity rate in the
Although lower than our neighbors in Ohio (17.2), Michigan
(16.8) and Kentucky (16.7), many of our families are struggling because of an
insufficient transit system and limited
access to fresh food markets.
This is where the garden at George Washington Carver steps
in — even if it’s in small batches.
Averaging about 10 pounds of food — including green beans,
squash, lettuce and zucchini — per harvest, the garden at GWC Montessori
provides more than fresh food to its community. The students in the ASAP at Ivy
Tech spend their summer harvesting and tending the garden while the students at
GWC are on summer break.
Partnering with Ivy Tech and GWC Montessori, the Mid-North
Food Pantry is able to provide
fresh foods to the families of Central Indiana — serving more than 1,000
households in the month of June. The harvested veggies from GWC Montessori help
to support those households.
Aside from providing students with a one-of-a-kind
learning experience, we hope that working in the garden will inspire and
empower our children to continue these acts of service to their community,
within their school and citywide.