Charlottesville City Schools partners with the local nonprofit City Schoolyard Garden (part of Cultivate Charlottesville) for a shared vision: Young people thrive with the opportunity to engage with nature, to enhance their academic learning through hands-on experience, to cultivate skills for healthy living, and to grow in leadership.
Together, Charlottesville City Schools and City Schoolyard Garden manage nine garden spaces including one at all six Charlottesville public elementary schools, Buford Middle School, Charlottesville High School, and our alternative high school, Lugo-McGinness Academy. These gardens encompass over 26,383 square feet of diverse organic gardens with over 33,724 student interactions for over 3,500 youth each year.
We get our students’ hands in the dirt and their brains into math, science, reading, nutrition, history, and much, much more. Youth learn leadership skills, build confidence, and are happy in the garden. From in-school lessons to after-school clubs or from summer internships to family workdays, our gardens are part of our schools and our community. We need help to sustain and grow these programs. Our community support is strong, but like every good gardener, we have a wish list to do more.