AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - It’s been said that gardening is good for the soul, and at Caprock High School it’s been discovered that it’s also useful for education.
Special Education Teacher Lori Craig says being out in the garden gives the students at live classroom.
“The benefit is we have a live classroom. So, instead of doing book work, we are doing all our work hands-on,” said Craig.
Several years ago, a large flower and vegetable garden was established at the school, and it’s now tended to and cultivated by a group of students with special needs.
“Our students are very excited to work in the garden,” said Craig. “And as they can see what happens in nature, from the seed to the first plant to the petals, flies, caterpillars all of that.”
Just being outdoors, watching nature, and working to help things grow has stimulated learning for the students in many new ways.
“Yeah, we had several kids yesterday that when we got them out of here, they just kind of came alive,” said Sheila Touchstone. “They’re so quiet in the classroom and don’t say anything. Lots of times they don’t even really engage in what we’re doing, but when they came out here, and they begin asking questions or were getting their hands dirty. They were working and smiles on their faces.”
The garden has even opened up ways to include math and science activities.
“Yesterday we were out here working, and we found two praying mantis,” said Touchstone. “A male and a female. So the kids were asking how we knew which one the male was, which one was female, so we talked about the male was smaller.”
Caprock teachers have been very pleased with the effect that the garden has had with students.
“Things that a lot of kids don’t know because they’re not out in gardens anymore and they’re not out in nature anymore, so they don’t know those things," said Touchstone.
Just being out in nature is a massive benefit for mainstream students, to students with individual needs.
It seems like science and other topics come alive when you’re outside and stimulate the education process, and that’s some good news.