Last spring, Frederick Elementary School (FES) built its Teaching Garden to help FES students develop lifelong nutritious eating habits by educating them about the connections between their food choices and the impact it has on their brain development. Overseen by the student Green Team, an afterschool FES club of enthusiastic gardeners and environmentalists, The Teaching Garden gives students healthier options by choosing local, fresh foods that are available during the school day. 

Students enjoyed the 2022-23 school year harvest of cucumbers, summer squash, spaghetti squash, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, a variety of tomatoes, and zinnias to bring to bees to help with pollination. Harvested by the Green Team, FES students took home produce to enjoy with their families. The Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten classes also harvested many tomatoes and squash, which they enjoyed during snack time.

The Teaching Garden is designed as an engaging outdoor learning space with 15 tree stumps set up in a circle in the middle of the garden beds. Some lessons in the garden have included tracking the plant growth month to month, writing garden haiku poems, reading stories to the plants, illustrating the garden, using the leaves and stems as paintbrushes in art, and writing short stories about the garden.  

This spring, the Green Team, under the guidance of Jillian Zarra, FES’s Library Media Specialist, has planted a variety of vegetables to be harvested in the summer and fall. The hands-on lessons dig deeper than better meal options. Students are learning about the ecosystem required to grow food. The Green Team also built another garden bed to be used as a pollinating flower bed so the garden can become more fruitful. 

Another new garden addition is the Little Free Library, which the Green Team is constructing, painting, and installing. When FES classes use the garden, students can enjoy–and keep–books from the Little Free Library.

Experiential learning such as gardening allows students to learn by doing and helps them to solve problems for themselves. Hands-on experiences provide students with the space to work creatively, show real world applications, and build confidence.

Jillian Zarra

FES’s Library Media Specialist

In late April, the Green Team will attend the Spring Garden Summit at Great Kids Farm.  The field trip includes hands-on workshops on themes related to gardens, nature, and food systems. “We will be engaging in workshops such as mindfulness in the garden, learning about what types of bugs are best for our garden, and the best types of nutrients to help our plants grow,” adds Ms. Zarra, who will accompany the field trip. 

The benefits of FES Teaching Garden last much longer than the memory of a ripe tomato or cucumber picked by the students’ hands. “Working in a garden specifically leads to the development of a healthy lifestyle, provides the opportunity for them to demonstrate care and concern for living things, and makes them more aware of their environment which helps them develop a sense of community,” says Ms. Zarra.

Enjoy the photo gallery of the Green Team and the FES community caring for and enjoying the Teaching Garden.

About the Baltimore Curriculum Project

Baltimore Curriculum Project (BCP) is the largest operator of local neighborhood, public charter schools in Maryland. We create safe, supportive learning environments for children PK-8 by providing innovative, research-based educational strategies, intensive teacher training and extensive support for administration and staff. We support our local neighborhood needs by tailoring our resources and support through community partnerships.

As one of the longest-running charter operators in Maryland, our schools are regularly recognized as some of the most highly acclaimed neighborhood charter schools in the state. 

Pimlico Elementary / Middle School

Sign up for our email newsletter

Contact Us

2707 E. Fayette Street
Baltimore, MD 21224
Fax: 410-675-7030

Social Media

This message is only visible to admins.
Problem displaying Facebook posts. Backup cache in use.
Click to show error
Error: Error validating access token: The session has been invalidated because the user changed their password or Facebook has changed the session for security reasons. Type: OAuthException
Translate »