VCE Loudoun, in partnership with INOVA, offers education in the classroom on where food originates, how the environment matters in growing the food, and healthy eating. The following 45 to 60 minutes lessons are offered:
- Enviroscape Watershed Model – Students will investigate and understand important Virginia natural resources including watershed and water resources through the interactive model.
- Soils – A Soils Science Toolkit gives students hands-on opportunities to explore different soils and discover what makes some soils better for supporting plants than others.
- Parts of a Plant – Three Science Toolkits are available giving students hands-on experiences to understand plants, their role, and necessary adaptations.
- 4-H Farmyard Fun – To compliment the in-school programs, an after school 4-H program was created to teach elementary students about local agriculture in terms of animals. Six lessons are available on beef, poultry, alpaca, pig, goat and sheep.
- Healthy Plate Club - INOVA offers the club with a la carte classroom lessons from K-6th grade. Inova health educators teach nutrition to students through age-appropriate games and activities.
- VCE Youth Education Videos
A school garden, whether vegetable or pollinator, is a great way for youth to have ownership and hands-on experiences with growing food or providing a habitat. Improved student performance, health and attitudes have all been attributed to school gardens. VCE Loudoun, in collaboration with LCPS School Nutrition Services (SNS), is committed to providing quality education and professional support for school gardens.
Garden Program includes:
- Teacher training
- Detailed Handbook
- Educational resources
- Initial school visit
- Master Gardener Volunteer support on plants/pests/diseases
- Master Food Volunteer support for harvesting and food safety
- 4-H Special Interest (SPIN) After School Program
- SNS education from harvest to nutrition
Complete this form to receive education resources about school gardens.
For questions or more information on these programs, please email Stuart Vermaak or for school gardens email Barbara Bailey, call 703-771-5838 or stop by the Virginia Cooperative Extension-Loudoun Office at 750 Miller Drive SE, Leesburg, Suite F-3.