The BFA Organic School Gardens Leader Schools Program is providing assistance to ten Australian Primary schools leading the way in the development of their organic school garden programs.
The ‘Leader Schools' Program initiative recognises and rewards schools whose gardening program and commitment to its development are outstanding. Leader Schools are provided with materials and equipment such as organic approved fertilisers, worms, seeds and weed mats, along with additional support in the teaching of organic gardening as part of the school curriculum.
In May 2010, not-for-profit organic representative body Biological Farmers of Australia released a free national program for all Australian Primary Schools. The BFA Organic School Gardens Program (OSGP) is an education program that has been developed in line with recognised organic standards to assist schools to develop their organic school gardens and teach school children in a practical and enjoyable way about organic gardening, while also complimenting national curriculum priorities and requirements.
With an average of over 50 schools registering to the program each month across Australia, BFA has developed four support programs including ‘Leader Schools' to build on schools' learning experiences, offer networking opportunities, funding, and other assistance.
With school garden programs reaching a popular high around the globe, BFA Organic School Gardens Program Manager Jane Burns says "the Leader Schools Program rewards schools who are showing a commitment and leadership in developing school garden programs with the support of a materials grant and teaching support as well promotional benefits.
"We are recognising these schools for their approach and commitment to developing and maintaining their gardening program as a part of the school curriculum. Research provides overwhelming evidence of the advantages: positive social skills, influencing healthy diet choices, academic achievement, and fostering environmental stewardship."
The Leader School Program will celebrate schools' successes with garden launch events and publication of student gardening stories, images, and videos on the BFA Organic School Gardens website and in well known publications.
There will be the opportunity for schools to participate in key events such as a media launches and events which celebrate key milestones in the Program's development.
Congratulations to the following named Leader Schools: Belgrave Heights Christian School (VIC); Bourke Public School (NSW); Bullarto Primary School (VIC); Burdekin Christian College (QLD); Chevallum State School (QLD); Clayton North Primary School (VIC); Croydon West Primary School (VIC); Exeter Primary School (TAS); The Armidale Waldorf School (NSW); Valkstone Primary School (VIC).