Kutztown University, Kutztown Elementary host a School Garden Workshop

Kutztown University and Kutztown Elementary School will host a school garden workshop on Saturday, Sept. 28, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Kutztown Elementary School’s garden, 40 Normal Ave., Kutztown. The event is free and open to the public.

Teachers, teachers-in-training, students, parents and anyone interested in learning how to start a school garden program will benefit from the workshop, which presents information on how to obtain resources to start a garden, how to begin planting and how to sustain it. Participants will also learn about using native plants, well adapted to the local environment and easy to tend.

The introduction and welcome, given by Dr. Steven Schnell, begins at 9 a.m. Following his address, three different presentations will discuss how to create a school garden program, how to integrate the garden into the school’s curriculum and how to sustain the program long-term by securing the necessary funding and volunteers. Each presentation will address the subject from the unique perspective of the speakers. There will also be opportunities throughout the workshop to view curricular displays by Kutztown University College of Education students.

At noon, the workshop concludes with an informal question and answer period, a tour of the Kutztown Elementary School garden, snacks and music by a live jazz trio.


The presenters for this event are Kay Fritz, third grade teacher and garden committee member at Kutztown Elementary School; Gordon Hoodak, principal of Lauer’s Park Elementary in Reading; Nick Hemmerich, garden coordinator for Lauer’s Park Elementary; Chip Clark, member of the gardening team for Radio Park Elementary School in State College, and Gray’s Woods Elementary in Port Matilda; and Celeste Newcomb, garden coordinator, Gray’s Wood’s Elementary School.

“School gardens provide hands-on education in a variety of subjects, and are an important tool in science-based education,” explained Dr. Steven Schnell, who is a professor of geography at Kutztown University. “At Kutztown Elementary School, the garden has been tied to curriculum in science, art, math and history classrooms. The students also have the opportunity to sample the plants they have grown and harvested.”

Attendees will receive a book with garden-themed lesson plans, developed by Kutztown University Education students in EEU 205, Teaching Science in Early Childhood, and tied to curricular standards for a variety of subjects. Workshop participants will be eligible for 3 ½ Act 48 credits.

Register for this free workshop no later than Sept. 21. RSVP online at http://libguides.kutztown.edu/gardens, or by contacting Steven Schnell at schnell@kutztown.edu or 610-683-1595.