RHS expands campaign to get 2.5 million school children gardening

School children gardeningGardening Advisors help school children get gardening; Photo courtesy RHS

RHS Campaign for School Gardening, supported by Waitrose.

The RHS, the UK's leading gardening charity, has expanded its network of Regional Campaign for School Gardening Advisors to help more than 300,000 school children in the North West get gardening. This is the latest development in a nationwide campaign which aims to involve over 13,000 schools and 2.5 million children by January 2011.

Recent research by the RHS shows that gardening can have an enormous impact on children's wellbeing, learning and development. Schools which actively use a garden develop 'resilient', 'ready to learn' and 'responsible' children, as well as helping them lead happier, healthier lives and acquire the essential skills they need to fulfil their potential and make a positive contribution to society as a whole.

The RHS Campaign for School Gardening encourages and supports schools to actively use a school garden. It provides resources and curriculum-based lesson plans to help schools use gardening as an effective way of delivering the curriculum. To date over 12,300 schools have signed up to the Campaign, of which 7,250 are primary schools. This equates to just over 40% of all UK primary schools and more than two million children.

Andy Cannell has been appointed as RHS Regional Campaign for School Gardening Advisor (North West). The role, funded by Manchester Airport, will support teachers and schools in the North West, providing advice, training and skills for teachers, and will work with children and communities to make the most of the opportunities to learn through gardening.

The appointment establishes a network of four RHS Regional Campaign for School Gardening Advisors providing teacher and pupil support in Yorkshire and Humber, the East of England and Greater London and now the North West.

Simon Thornton Wood, RHS Director of Science and Learning, says: "In the last three years we have engaged more than 12,300 UK schools with our Campaign for School Gardening, and our goal is to give every child in the UK the opportunity to garden at school.

"The Regional Advisors give schools the support they need to make the most of their resources, space and skills, and to develop a support network of families and engage the local community. It is vital that the work we are doing with schools is fully integrated into school and community life to ensure long term, positive results for the future generation of gardeners."

Wendy Sinfield, Community Relations Manager for Manchester Airport said: "This is the start of a three year agreement between the airport and the Royal Horticultural Society for a qualified horticulturalist to work in local primary schools promoting gardening, healthy living and supporting the sustainability curriculum. It's something we're keen to play a role in alongside our development of education in the area."

For more information see: www.rhs.org.uk/schoolgardening


Article posted on 05 Oct 2010.

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