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HLA “Inspire Garden” program was initiated few years ago, but kicked off in spring 2016 as part of a volunteer school program, to enhance the education and youth development of students attending HLA, and those living in Del Paso, Rio Linda and North Sacramento area. With inspirations and support from knowledgeable Principal, Scharmela Edwards, and Dr. David Patterson (California Charter Schools Association 2012 Hart Vision recipient), the inspire Garden program is a success. Both individuals have a passion for excellence and a love for each individual student. HLA inspire Garden program is also supported through parent/volunteer/educator Mr. Augustine Eke, who is an expert in soil sciences and agriculture. Under his supervision HLA students started seeds of tomato, pepper, cucumber, cabbage, squash, spinach, and carrot in a greenhouse, and transplanted them to HLA Inspire Garden few weeks later.
HLA Inspire Garden program supports sustainable gardening, student development, and garden based hands on experience. As the growing season progresses, student will have an opportunity to start populating their data sheets, with irrigation data, pH values, soil moisture levels, plant height, soil type, yield etc.
Students have learned
- Site assessment and connecting garden to common core (3rd, 5th to 8th graders).
- Starting of seeds
- Maintaining garden (weed, irrigation, fertilization)
- Hydrologic Cycle
- Soil formation
- Sand, silt, clay and loam
- Resources that can serve as guides to other science subjects (6th, 7th and 8th graders).
Benefits of HLA “Inspire Garden”
The benefits for participating in HLA “Inspire Garden’ program, are numerous. Gardening offers hands-on learning experience, where students get to experiment in a wide array of science related disciplines. Listed below are few of the major benefits students and the community can derive from HLA Inspire Garden.
- Increase in science achievement scores
- Improves life skills, such as working in groups.
- Improves social skills
- Appreciation and respect for nature
- Improve knowledge of science
- Increase fruits and vegetable consumption.
- Encourages healthy eating
- Open doors to numerous science and engineering disciplines students can major in college.
- Increase environmental awareness.
- Encourage water conservation
- Discourages environmental pollution