R.M. Miano ElementaryLocation: Los Banos, California
Ages of children working on the garden: 5-12
The garden was established in 2001.
Congratulations and thanks for all that you do! Read about Miano Elementary's garden project in their own words:
Over the past 11 years, Miano has developed and built 13 gardens to instill in our low income students the importance of the natural world around us, eating healthy, understanding the rol agriculture plays in our economy, learning about how business works, and enriching all facets of state mandated academic curriculum.
While many gardens fail after the first year, we have been able to grow annually because of the support of our staff, administration and community. Miano Elementary is a low income school in the 'bad' part of a small farming town. With all the everyday struggles that our students face, we still have been able to develop strong support for our program. We are always amazed at the level of participation. Whether it is a cleanup day or a building day, parents are always there to help our program thrive. Though the majority of our families cannot afford to help us monetarily, they are willing to help in any way they can. Our garden program provides an avenue for students, teachers and parents to unite.
It is difficult to describe Miano's garden program in one way. It is in reality 13 different gardens that have been carefully designed to reach the needs of all of our students. From a pumpkin patch for our kindergarteners, a butterfly garden for our first and second graders, to ecosystems that provide examples of plants, rocks and so much more. Our Family Farm is an orchard that along with 29 citrus trees and 10 heirloom grapes, provides lessons in agriculture, business, and nutrition, to name just a few. Our Cesar E. Chavez garden allows for a variety of fruits and vegetables to be grown, harvested, and consumed by our students to help them understand the importance of good nutrition. Our program has grown to the point that it is part of the experience of being a Miano Bobcat.
When this program began, kour school was full of empty dirt lots. The district did not have the funds to improve our campus. It was a sad place to teach and learn. It is amazing to see how different our campus is since the inception of our program. Students are proud of their campus. The flowers and greenery that cover the majority of our school makes it feel welcoming. In 11 short years, we have been able to transform our school and outlook of our students.