Ground Works will be showcasing student work and the teaching garden movement, at a fundraiser in Sioux Falls Thursday night. The event is April 4th from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at the Museum of Visual Materials. The venue is located at 500 N. Main Street in downtown Sioux Falls. During the event you'll be able to meet students and view the garden projects. You'll hear about how these teaching gardens have worked at their schools. Dinner will be provided by Sanford and Avera at 6:00pm. Tickets are $5 for students, $10 for adults, a table of six for $50, and 2 tables for $90. To purchase tickets use the link on the left side of your screen or call (605) 201-5549.
Ground Works is an educational nonprofit that uses community development principles to enhance local neighborhoods. Ground Works is basically an organization that works with an interested school to get a school teaching garden up and running for the school. They do everything with the school from basic idea building to seeing the teaching garden become fully operational for the school.
A school teaching garden is an outdoor classroom where kids learn everything from math and science to English and social studies. Students learn to put their questions to the test and to find the answers. Kids also work as a team, learning communication and leadership skills.
Ground Works has really been growing in Sioux Falls and across South Dakota. There are teaching gardens already up and running at Lowell Elementary and Hayward Elementary, and many start-up conversations with other schools are underway. Work is underway with Lennox, Rapid City, Hawthorne, Terry Redlin, and Dell Rapids. Conversations are also underway with Sioux Falls Christian. Organizers say they are well on their way to their goal of impacting 5,000 children and families by 2015.
Ground Works has also been approached by Ward Enterprises in Sioux Falls to develop a teaching garden model for their assisted living center on N Sycamore Avenue. Ground Works is also building 4 beds out at the new Mary Jo Wegner Arboretum. Organizers say this will serve as a teaching model for teachers and other practitioners to see in person what a raised bed can do and to try their hand at working with them.
Ground Works has also now been added to a health education working group joining: Falls Community Health, Avera Research, SDSU school of nursing, Sioux Falls School Nurses, SDSU Extension Office, and chefs from both Avera and Sanford Hospital. The goal is to develop a pilot and research study which can prove that exposure to the gardens can impact the high rates of childhood diabetes and obesity.
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