Goethe School Garden is part of the 100 Urban Gardens Initiative, a partnership between PACT, Whole Kids Foundation & Indiegogo to build 100 urban gardens across 100 cities in the US.
Because gardens produce healthier food. Only 2% of American children eat enough fruits and vegetables, and 1 in 3 American children born after 2000 is at risk for Type II diabetes. A garden is an introduction to the real, healthy food students and families need access to.
Because gardens can help fix America's nature deficit. With more than 80% of Americans living in cities and suburbs, we need to work harder than ever to teach the values of natural processes.
Because gardens are a living laboratory for education. Not just healthy food—a lesson on what producing healthy food requires. Not just exposure to nature—a way for children to literally harvest the fruits of their labor.
A True Seed Investment
For as little as $10, you can help a community reap all the benefits a garden has to offer. In just 39 days, we plan to raise $2500 per garden; to feed, teach, and inspire people in each of these 100 communities. Here are a few things our garden plans to do with your donations:
Goethe Elementary, a neighborhood Chicago Public School, is in the midst of a campaign to completely overhaul its dilapidated exterior schoolyard. Due to budget cuts, our schoolyard’s 1.2 acres of precious open space are in disrepair: graffitied, broken play equipment; crumbling playground surface; an athletic field, compacted from overuse, that’s mud for days after a storm and too lumpy to play on when dry. Even in its current state though, the schoolyard is heavily used by the school and community because our dense, urban neighborhood has the second least amount of park space in Chicago.
Now, parents at Goethe have made the renovation a reality by getting a grant from the IL EPA to install green stormwater infrastructure under the schoolyard to solve its flooding problems. But we still need to raise money for what we will build on top. Our master plan for the renovated schoolyard includes permanent school and community garden space that will also serve as an outdoor classroom.
The garden is a key part of our vision for the renovated schoolyard. In the long term we want to provide a comprehensive wellness program for after school and during summers which includes gardening, cooking, and nutrition for preschoolers through teens. Goethe is a vibrant learning community with 800 pre-K through 8th grade children---90% minority, 82% low-income, and 23% English language learners.
Our vision is for students to learn about healthy eating and the source of their food through activities that also put them in a position of responsibility and care of the garden. The curriculum will include social and cultural aspects of food and gardening, drawing upon the diversity of our school and the surrounding community. Utilizing an investigative model of learning, students will be encouraged to explore food and gardening’s connections to climate, society, culture, history and social justice, as well as nutrition and plant botany.
Goethe School has a very close collaborative relationship with a nearby Chicago Park District site, Haas Park. Once Goethe’s garden is built, we plan to have a single community garden organization maintain both the Goethe garden and the community garden established at Haas in the summer of 2012. This will allow for maintenance of the school garden site during the summer when school is not in session. The gardening organization will include students, parents, teachers, and community members, and the gardens will be open for all to enjoy and use.
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Look Good, Do Good
With every contribution to our garden, donors will receive organic, ethical perks from PACT. Our socks, undies, and t-shirts are produced to high standards of sustainability, with the comfiest organic materials we can find. You'll be giving out of the goodness of your heart, and in return you'll get PACT goodies. It's a win-win situation.