Organization: East Cooper Montessori Charter School

East Cooper Montessori: Putting Down Roots

Students, teachers, and parents at East Cooper Montessori Charter School have rallied around building a strong foundation for their new garden program.  By starting seeds in pea pots and later transplanting to a raised garden and a cold frame, the folks at ECMCS ensured that the plants would survive the Carolina winter.  Gardening was a perfect match for the Montessori method, where “students learn concepts from working with materials, rather than by direct instruction.”  Using the garden, students learned about soil, ecology, botany, and the importance of responsibility.  ECMCS tells us, “The garden brought the entire community together.  Teachers and students were involved on a daily basis and were responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the garden.”  ECMCS also partnered with organizations like the Coastal Conservation League and GrowFood Carolina, who volunteered a bit of time and experience.  “The goal is to grow the garden program every year in the following ways: square footage, vegetable production, community involvement, and educational opportunities.”

Moving forward, ECMCS told us they hope to partner up with a local farm for school field trips and weekend outings.  

Students learn about soil, sun, and water: three vital components of making a garden grow.

Students fill their trays with organic soil.