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Green Thumbs Up: Celebrating Success in IPS’s First District Garden Club

This past fall, the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) launched its first District Garden Club. A hands-on initiative that spanned six weeks from mid-September to early November, the program brought together around 150 students across seven schools. Youngsters discovered the joys and challenges of gardening.

The curriculum was thoughtfully designed to provide a comprehensive introduction to the world of farming. Students learned about the basics of plant care, the importance of healthy soil, and the intricacies of ecosystems in their local environment.

Christian Park School 82

Daniel Webster School 46

Frederick Douglass 19

Lew Wallace School 107

Meredith Nicholson School 96

William McKinley School 39

William Penn School 49

The club was more than just about growing plants; it was about cultivating skills, nurturing young minds, and fostering a sense of community. Each week, students eagerly took on new tasks, from planting seeds to identifying pests, and from understanding the cycle of growth to the final harvest.

Several students reflected on the program, calling it a success could be found not just in the lush greenery that sprung up across schools, but also in the enthusiastic participation and engagement of their peers.

The Garden Club has sown the seeds for future environmental stewardship and has provided a model for experiential learning that can be replicated and built upon in the years to come. Students said:

What I enjoy about garden club is you get to learn about what plants need and what’s bad for them. You get to know about them. You plant certain plants. You do fun activities.

Vanessa G.

My favorite thing about garden club is growing plants, making dirt, making friendships and meeting new people!

Aliah T.