This year, students designed, built and planted a classroom garden. The garden is part of a larger outdoor classroom and has been a central component of the daily experience at YVCS. Aside from the obvious health benefits of having fresh vegetables on site, gardening provides critical life skills for our students’ developing minds and bodies. For example, the garden has provided different forms of engagement for the children, including designing, planting, and maintaining the garden; harvesting, preparing, and sharing food; working cooperatively in groups; learning about science and nutrition; and creating art and stories inspired by their garden. Students have experienced the joy of watching plants grow, picking fresh food, preparing it and eating it together. It’s been wonderful watching them learn and understand exactly where their food comes from.