What is the Sprouters Program?
The Sprouters Program is a gardening program we designed in collaboration with Dr Kate Neale from Southern Cross University and the Australian Federal Government. Under the Sprouters Program, Vegepod first gives guidance to schools on setting up their Vegepod raised garden beds. From there, teachers not only show preschoolers and primary school-aged kids how to garden with the Vegepod, but also how to truly engage with their greenspace. For students, the experience during their schooling is invaluable (we know, we’ve seen it first hand!).
Not only are they learning where their food comes from, a healthy respect for the environment, nutrition, and a responsibility around living things - they’re also learning, through gardening, how to cultivate a sense of place and belonging with nature.
It’s that last point that we’re seriously focused on with our Sprouter’s Program. We want to see our low maintenance Vegepods help kids lower their anxiety, increase their happiness and improve their concentration and mindfulness - all through growing veggies!
Sprouters Program Success Stories
We donated a Pod to the Dorothy Bullock Elementary School in Glassboro, New Jersey. Sonya (@proudnjteacher) is a grouse teacher and gardener who has started The Bullock Children’s Garden. The program doesn’t just teach kids gardening - it focuses on empowering the students to make all the decisions themselves. The kids are creating ownership, community, and happiness through gardening! Love it!
Narrabeen Lakes Primary School is also jumping on the Sprouters bandwagon! Class 3M set up a Vegepod outside their classroom during term time and are now harvesting bumper crops. The produce from these crops is being sold to the school’s canteen as well as to the school community. A big thanks to Mrs Mayo who inspired other school teachers to establish their own Vegepods and sustainable recycling systems!
How Can Your School Get Involved?
If you’re interested in the Sprouters Program for your school, get in touch! We’ve got growing guides, lesson planners and educator notes. For the pre-schools, we have tools centred around the 'Early Years Learning Framework' (EYLF) called 'KindyGarden'. If in the area, one of the Vegepod members themselves may come to the school and help with installation, setup and educating the kids. Hit up firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re an educator or faculty member with the time and resources to work with us.
A 'KindyGarden' in Lismore, Sydney - reposting @mylittlesheshed.
To find out more about Vegepod’s child learning initiatives, check out our page ‘Vegepod In Schools’ or our other blog ‘Teaching Kids About Sustainable Living With the Vegepod.’ Teachers and educators we hope to hear from you soon!