A very small step in getting our educational system to put value into something other than Standardized testing.
Gardening with CA native plants at our school has provided some opportunities at our school that are beyond measuring the value to kids.
Things that tests cannot measure. It is still an uphill battle getting support from administration.
If you ever put in time at any school garden be sure and talk to the principal, Board members AND Superintendent and tell them specifically why more of these experiences are valuable to kids. You can even link it to test scores if you wish. For instance, my students spend a few months researching the plants in our garden and they take notes about plant wildlife value, water requirements, soil type, where the plant is found in nature, etc.
They also become well versed in their research as to why we should plant natives. As they prepare to be garden docents for the Going Native Tour they improve their literacy, research skills and can apply it to real life, tangible things (as opposed to learning literacy from a classroom textbook).
And since they are weeding, planting, mulching and observing wildlife all along, they take ownership in their school and community. Life experiences that cannot be accessed in a classroom nor tested on and compared to with rich kids who ALWAYS score higher on standardized tests.
Thanks to all who have helped in the Dan Lairon School native plant garden or any school garden. In the future though, make sure you tell every administrator the value of this experience at your child's or community's school.