Haley Elementary – Garden Project – Chandler

Haley Elementary School

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District: Chandler Unified School District

Address: 3401 S Layton Lakes Blvd Chandler, AZ 85249

We, at Haley Elementary School, are excited for this opportunity to share our mission for a Haley Learning Garden to further contribute to our rich history of learning and growing together at Haley. Chandler, Arizona is a remarkably diverse community offering a wide range of support for this project including a continually active PTO, great volunteers, and supportive parents to come alongside students and staff as nutritional education is ongoing at Haley Elementary. Our goal is to create a real-world example that contributes to a sustainable lifestyle through healthy food growing on our campus and a positive impact on our community at large. All grade levels will be involved from PreK-6th grade, and we are looking forward to launching the Haley Learning Garden! We would ideally like 5-8 garden boxes with soil. Our Haley Garden benefits our whole school and community. Children will learn how their favorite vegetables grow and where they come from. They will discover their “green thumbs” as they watch plants grow to their full potential. Our garden will help families eat a healthier diet as students share what they learn. We cannot wait to have students ask more questions about botany, dig in the dirt to support their healthy immune systems, and get excited about sharing what they experience. Our garden will have a special additional meaning and remembrance to our school. Haley Elementary is named after a very special student who left this world after a lengthy battle with cancer in 2005. The impact of her legacy lives on today through a Crisis Fund assisting families with students fighting life-altering illnesses or injuries. Haley Knutsen is not only remembered for her courage facing great adversity but her inquisitive nature, love of learning, and compassion for others. Haley loved butterflies and ladybugs and they will be provided for the plants that encourage their residence in the garden, along with worms, of course! Here at Haley, we have many teachers, students, and volunteers that are lifelong learners. Engaging our school community in maintaining our Haley Learning Garden will develop self-confidence, reasoning, discovery, cooperation, and creativity. We will invite our families and students to help plan and design the garden along with planting the many flowers and vegetables that attract the beautiful butterflies and ladybugs our namesake, Haley Knutsen loved learning about. We will also create an After-School Garden Club available for all grade levels to participate. Students will have the opportunity to connect with nutrition education and understand the process of growing and maintaining healthy vegetables and flowers. Each grade will have a time during the school year where they take an active role in our school garden to ensure they are working together to problem solve making sure our garden reaches its fullest potential. Students with disabilities and special needs will also have an active role helping to maintain our garden by watering, planting, and working with adult leaders to help them focus, follow directions, and apply self-management skills. Another aspect of maintaining our garden would be to organize community members, teachers, and students to be actively involved in watering the garden, digging, mulching, picking flowers and vegetables, and protecting the plants. We will keep our community informed about our school garden by taking photos, sending information about the plants and veggies we’re growing, which can include fun recipe ideas for families to enjoy lifelong learning at home. Our entire Haley school community will benefit from a real world understanding of nutrition. This is a great time for students to shift from a traditional classroom setting to an outdoor learning experience that will focus on student engagement and critical thinking skills. Students at Haley will understand the process of growing healthy foods and can integrate many subjects like math, science, literacy, and social emotional learning. Students will learn to love nature and that the outdoor environment is a safe and enjoyable place to learn. We are committed to a continued effort to build, sustain, and maintain our Haley Learning Garden. Our commitment to outdoor learning will be tied through our curriculum and will include many different learning objectives from each grade level. They start in Pre-K though 2nd primary grade where students will be introduced to life cycles, plants, and learning to take care of their environment by compost, reuse, and recycling. This requires students to use fine motor skills, build relationships by working together with peers, and learning to care for something beyond themselves. Our students in grades 3rd- 6th will make academic connections by using math and science standards to care for the garden and the insects that will call their garden home. All will responsibly care for our garden, each having a job that must be completed to sustain our natural learning environment. Garden-based education provides all students at Haley Elementary with a hands-on learning experience that will be enjoyed for the many generations ahead. Let’s do this!

Estimated Project Costs: $2,000

Project Type:

Garden Project: School Garden or Landscaping Project

Possible Project Dates:

October 21, 2023

Is this Project OK for Kids: