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2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Grannys Garden School, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Educational Services, Elementary & Secondary Schools, Environment, Environmental Education, Food, Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, Literacy

Mission: Mission Granny’s Garden School develops and supports hands-on learning experiences for children through schoolyard-based, garden and nature focused programs. They help children experience nature: the satisfaction of growing their own food and to appreciate the simple pleasure of picking a flower.

Results: Today, the flagship program (with its 120 vegetable gardens, many flower gardens and two nature trails) serves all of Loveland’s nearly 1,600 first-fourth grade students (3 public schools). Our 20 week, in-school program makes it one of the largest and most comprehensive school garden programs in the country. In 2014 we launched a pilot satellite program at Stewart Elementary, the largest of eight elementary schools in Princeton City Schools. In 2015 we are expanding the program to include all of Stewart’s nearly 500 pre-school-5th grade students. We hope to take the program to all of Princeton’s elementary schools in the next five years.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 2000 students per week ( a total of 48,000 contacts)

Programs: Our comprehensive outdoor education program includes: •An educational package with: •A 20 week in-school, plant based environmental education program. •Customized curriculum and lesson plans aligned with both district and state requirements. •Trained Garden Educators who prepare and teach lessons with classroom teacher assistance. •We provide garden staff who are experienced with maintaining educational gardens. •We recruit and manage groups of volunteers (high school/college, corporate groups) who provide the labor for year-round maintenance. •We recruit and schedule parent volunteers to assist when classes are in the gardens. •We provide all supplies. •We offer summer and afterschool programs. •We host Fall Harvest Celebration (an open house) to share the gardens with the community. •We encourage students to garden at home with their families through the Granny’s Kids Garden Club. •We maintain an extensive website where we share our knowledge, experience, lesson plans and resources with other school garden program developers around the country – free of charge.

Community Stories

11 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for Granny's Garden School for the past 6 years. I have been very involved in the annual plant sale. It is amazing to me that the backbone of the program in terms of support come from volunteers, donations and fund raising events like the annual plant sale. The program derives zero funding from the school system or taxpayer dollars. Over the past decade+, the program has touched over 17,000 students.

Ali_12

Board Member

Rating: 5

I started volunteering to work with the Granny's Garden team several years ago and they haven't been able to get rid of me since! My family does not live in the district and get to enjoy the free benefits but we appreciate and enjoy the activities where we can participate and learn - summer harvesting, events, etc. This is truly a wonderful program with many many great volunteers and staff that are very dedicated to hands on learning in the gardens.

Tara49

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My three daughters thoroughly enjoyed the grannies garden school program. They learned a wealth of knowledge about gardening, where our food comes from, hard work, and even an introduction to cooking the food they grow!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our family relocated into the Loveland, OH from out of state in 2012. We learned of Granny's Garden from our children, as they would come home raving over their garden activities and what they had learned in their outside class gardens at school! The opportunity that was given to us and our children through Granny's is priceless! What could be more important than learning how to grow your own food through hand's on experience?

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great program! Had never even heard of a garden program on school grounds before moving to Loveland. Intrigued, I began to volunteer and learn more about the program. The kids are very involved and learn hands-on lessons on the nature trail and in the gardens. They plant flowers and vegetables throughout the school year and then harvest is truly a celebration, for they know what was involved in the process.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After three years as a Master Gardener volunteer at Ganny's, I am continually amazed at the different types of learning that both children and adults take part. Outside activities that demonstrate the importance of earthworms, seeds, planting and harvesting are just a few of the lessons that take place in a garden filled with breathtaking flowers. What a wonderful place to learn, volunteer, and teach. Thanks Roberta, Granny, for blessing Us with your passion!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked with Granny's Garden School since it's inception. It has grown from a wish for children to be able to pick a flower to a curriculum based learning program where students develop an appreciation for the world around them. Yes, they are able to pick a flower - and eat vegetables they have grown, walk the nature trail, watch monarch butterflies and praying mantis' go through their life cycle in our gardens, learn about composting/recycling. While the classes are in the gardens, they are getting a "hands on" education; all lessons are meshed with Ohio Standards. As an added bonus to the community, our school grounds are beautiful! I believe this program gives a benefit to our children that few schools can claim.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I just started helping out at Granny's Garden School and am thrilled to see kids being shown once again where their food comes from. The program is sophisticated and thoughtful, and ties in so well to schools, teachers, and students. It's wonderful to see kids spending more time outside working, digging, growing, and harvesting!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Granny's Garden School isn't just about the great opportunity students have to learn math and earth science outdoors and in an engaging way, but it's also about the exposure they get to where our food comes from and healthy eating. My kids have come home asking me to get beets and radishes, and the program has inspired us to start our own family garden. Weekly garden time has always been a special and fun part of the school day that they have always looked forward to - which is the way learning should be!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Granny’s Garden School is an amazing educational resource! The outdoor curriculum covers math, science and social studies in a way that truly engages all types of learners through visual and hands-on activities. The children are eager to participate and their eyes light up with the Garden Educators join their class for their lesson. Digging in the dirt, analyzing results of experiments, observing the natural world on the nature trail, eating vegetables they’ve grown themselves are just a few of ways Granny’s Garden School literally brings learning to life for our children!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved as a volunteer with Granny’s Garden School since 2004. I’ve done every job imaginable with the program, from baking vegetable based baked goods for our bake sales, planning and working at our events, promoting our events, working in the gardens and recruiting volunteers.

One of the most satisfying roles I have had is recruiting volunteers. Many of our local school systems require community service, and I have worked with high school kids from all over the city. I always come away feeling a little more positive about the future of the world after spending time with these students.

The gardens also provide a place for all ages and types of people who want to help their community, but might not fit in as well with other volunteer opportunities.

One afternoon we had a group of deaf students from St. Rita School for the Deaf, working alongside students from Sinclair College who were learning American Sign Language.

We also have a group of mentally disabled adults who come and volunteer on a regular basis. These are folks who want to contribute, and they always leave with a feeling of accomplishment.

I’ve worked with moms who bring their young children, to elderly folks who no longer have a yard to care for, but still want to be active in gardening.

Granny’s Garden School is not just for Loveland students; the program provides a way for anyone to get involved and be a part of this wonderful organization.