Gym Credit for Gardening (PPB #34)

raised bed garden

I don’t know about you, but I got physical education credit in school for showing up, dressing out, getting picked near last for the team, and then getting my butt kicked in whatever sport we were playing. Perhaps that teaches some brand of character… but I would’ve loved what New Jersey’s Princeton Public High School is doing: offering PE credit for gardening.

OK, some of you may be saying “Gardening?” But the kids are finding that it’s physically challenging… and also gives them skills that they’ll take with them after high school: “It gives people who aren’t that athletic β€” and I feel like I’m not β€” it gives them an opportunity to do something else,” said Kruthi Isola, a sophomore. “You learn how to do more than just play a game.”

The idea was conceived by a wrestling coach with a background in horticulture, and funded by $15,000 raised by community members. The gardens will also be used for academic classes:

Each department has adopted a bed and will choose the types of seeds to be planted. The science department wants to study which plants prevent erosion the best, while the foreign languages department will grow food related to various culinary traditions. Even the guidance department is getting involved; it selected plants that will yield relaxing aromas.

This appears to be the first program in the nation that offers gardening as a physical education option… and it strikes me as a really innovative idea that makes PE more than playing games. Students can get physically and mentally active, and develop a skill that will be useful for the rest of their lives.

What do you think?

via Green, Inc.

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