Sunday, October 12, 2014

Gold Award Spotlight: Learning Garden

Girl Scout Ambassador Isabel from Chesapeake  has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement in Girl Scouting. For her project, Isabel created a hands-on science learning environment for students at B.M. Williams Primary School by building a learning garden in the courtyard at the school. Her learning garden ties into the Virginia Standards of Learning for students in kindergarten through second grade to make real life observations of the life cycle of planting, maintaining and harvesting fruits, vegetables and flowering plants.

Isabel started the learning garden by building raised garden beds that she filled with organic weed killer and top soil. Students then helped Isabel plant lettuce, tomato, radish, spinach, strawberry, herb and flower seeds, and she placed signs in the garden for the children to be able to keep track the plants. She also placed a compost bin and rain barrel in the garden for children to learn about recycling water and food scraps.

“I chose this project because I wanted children to look forward to coming to school and enjoying their environment,” Isabel said. “I also wanted to create an opportunity for them to learn about good nutrition and healthy eating.”

Isabel also built a learning cart that carries microscopes, magnifying glasses, seed samples and gardening books and activities that teachers can use in their classrooms to supplement the information children learn in the garden. Isabel put together a care manual so that teachers and students will be able to continue to maintain the garden.

The Gold Award requires girls to identify an issue in their community and carry out a Take Action project to address the matter through leadership work. Nationwide, less than 6 percent of eligible Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award, which adds Isabel to an elite group of female leaders across the country with the honor.