Gardening and Literacy: Part 1
I worked some years back as a volunteer literacy tutor and was amazed at what some of the people who I helped learn to read could do.
It is feasible that we can combine the skills that people have with their desire to learn to read and do so while building and maintaining a garden.
People learn best, through an active process, that is by doing, and in the case of the garden, the first lessons could begin with the design of the garden plan. The first step could be determining what they gardeners want to grow and drawing on seed catalogues to form the basis of a reading lesson. Seed packets can also be included as they contain information that the gardeners need.
However, before we begin designing lesson plans, there are a few things that are even more essential. One is the land. Where will the garden be located?
There are some possible options; a church may be willing to allow the use of some of its property for this [purpose, or perhaps a school or community centre?
The municipality may have available land or if there is a literacy organization they may have land.
The teaching could be handled by master or other experienced gardeners working with literacy tutors to develop the lesson plans.
How does the process of creating a literacy garden begin? Well, as with most projects, you will need to assess your resources. For example, is there a master gardeners group where you live? Is there a literacy organization? If the answer is yes, you may want to contact these two organizations in order to determine their interest.
If you are a gardener and feel comfortable with your ability to share your knowledge with others then you may want to team up with a teacher or literacy worker and get a few ideas down on paper; keep it simple what you are looking for is a discussion paper, something to get people giving some serious thought to the idea of a literacy garden.