An opportunity to support connection with nature

Bench1An outdoor classroom needs a place for students to sit. And with your help, the Vegetable Project intends to provide such seating at Myers Middle School. Won’t you consider contributing to this important project? For a gift of $250, we’ll affix a plaque to a bench near the Myers garden with your personalized inscription, creating a lasting tribute in a space that will be used by students for years to come.

More than just a place to sit, we envision the convertible benches in the accompanying picture will make it easy for Myers teachers to opt for a change of scenery whenever that seems like a productive plan. Really, we expect getting outside occasionally to become an irresistible option.

And what’s the big deal about that?

Considerable research linking wellbeing with contact with nature suggests that an outdoor change of scenery could support academic performance. University-based research, for example, points to an association between contact with nature and strengthened focus, greater resilience, an ability to defer gratification and even better eyesight. We have been encouraging students for years now in our garden program to put their hands in the soil, to try unfamiliar tastes and to think about where their food comes from. Fostering a reconnection with our natural surroundings, however, may be our most meaningful offering.

Please drop a line to [email protected] for more information about dedicating a bench at the Myers Middle School Outdoor Classroom. Beyond helping the Vegetable Project place seating at the Myers garden, your gift will contribute to our ability to support teachers in thinking about how to use the space we are creating, with program development and hands-on assistance with classes.

Oh, and that’s Myers dad John D. Davis sitting on the bench in the photo after assembling the first one for us. Note that the back that John is leaning against swivels 90 degrees to become a table top whenever that is preferred. Thanks so much for the hand, John.

–Bill Stoneman

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