Gardening initiative encourages Nacogdoches ISD students to get their hands dirty

WEBXTRA: Gardening initiative encourages outdoor education at Nacogdoches ISD schools

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A gardening initiative at Nacogdoches Independent School District is encouraging students to get outside and get their hands dirty.

Nacogdoches Gardens is an initiative that promotes outdoor education, specifically gardening, at all of the schools within Nacogdoches, private and public.

“It’s very hands-on, and I enjoy being outside and really interacting with our environment more,” one student said. “We don’t do that now that we’re in a more urban area. And the more technology that comes out, the less time we spend outside.”

“A lot of what they do looks like we’re having fun, but they’re really learning about the life cycle of plants, how different ones propagate,” said Jodie Franks, 6th and 8th science teacher at Mike Moses Middle School. “We start seeds in our classroom, now we’re about to start learning about cutting. So you can learn how your root from asexual propagation to sexual propagation.”

Mike Moore, Nacogdoches Public Library’s program coordinator, has spent much of the last 4 years helping students develop gardens of their own at various schools in the city as part of Nacogdoches’ outdoor literacy program.

“I’ll go out and read stories to kids; we’ll get in, we’ll dig around, we’ll grow plants, and we’ll talk about the health of their systems and compare it to the systems of the garden," said Moore. “Healthy living styles also involve knowing where your food comes from.”

Moore said many of the schools involved in the Nacogdoches Gardens program often work together and share resources with the goal of benefiting the most students.

“We’re trying to work more in line with NISD and their curriculum, and trying to align garden seasons with the curriculum that happens within that framework so we can help students more in that education basis, as far as getting your hands dirty and having that experiential learning," said Moore.

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