Youth Programs

E12 Youth Environmental Education   On pause 2016-17

The Youth Environmental Education (E2 Project) is an in-school education program that strengthens children’s knowledge of plants, animals, insects, and the environment, by supporting and reinforcing Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL’s) through experiential education. Children are taught critical thinking skills and increase their knowledge about the environment in the world around them. SOL’s covered in classes include science, literature, mathematics and English.  This National Award winning curriculum makes it easy for volunteers to participate.  Annual training is provided to keep all volunteers involved.

E27 Mattey’s Garden  Louann Martin: 757-903-2820 and Genrose Lashinger: 757-221-0370

This garden is a hands-on outdoor classroom at Matthew Whaley Elementary, aligning the science curriculum and Standards of Learning (SOLs) with gardening activities.  Master Gardeners and volunteers from the Herb Society of America help kindergarteners learn about seeds by growing salad vegetables and herbs. The kindergarteners also have a butterfly garden. First graders are involved in the Master Gardener Seeds of Learning Project, raising their own plants as well as reading literature about gardening and plants.  Second graders work and study in the garden with the Roots and Shoots program. Third graders do a test garden with loam, clay and sand. Sugar snap peas and decorative gourds are also grown in that area. Gourds are harvested the following fall to be made into birdhouses. Fourth graders plant and harvest Virginia crops. Fifth graders help prepare the garden for planting in the spring and putting the garden to bed in the fall. Parents and other community volunteers also assist in all phases of the garden.

Mattey's Garden
Mattey’s Garden

E10 JCC Seeds of Learning Donna Thibeault: 757-564-0964 and Open

The Seeds of Learning project involves approximately 900 first grade students in the nine Williamsburg-James City County Elementary Schools.  About four Master Gardener and Intern volunteers present the program to each class of 18-23 students in all first grade classes.  The objective is to introduce students to gardening using the Virginia Standards of Learning Science curriculum as a guide.  The lessons are designed to assist the teachers in meeting the first grade SOL requirements regarding plants using hands-on interactive activities.  Master Gardeners teach children about different types of seeds, growing requirements (soil, water, sun, and air), and how plants grow.  The Seeds of Learning Project presents important concepts of science in a clear, non-threatening manner while meeting the Standards of Learning concerning plants for the first grade. The Seeds of Learning project is conducted from April through early May.

New Kent Seeds of Learning Gigi Burrows: 804-932-8017 and Eric 804-932-8017

The Seeds of Learning project at New Kent is very similar to the JCC Seeds of Learning, but is for the New Kent elementary schools.

E36 Merrimac Detention Center   Pam Woodson 566-0727 and Mike Whitfield: 757-220-0847

This is a 12-week program offered once per year, teaching horticulture skills to sentenced juvenile offenders between the ages of 14-17. The project objective is to expose the student to sound horticultural practices, through classroom lecture, guest speakers from the landscape industry, hands-on experience, and field trips, ultimately helping them develop a horticultural portfolio and earn a skills certificate. These classes earn the student credit towards SOL requirements and/or a GED.  The students get a certificate of participation for taking the class. Classes meet once a week for one hour during March through June. Topics covered are: Working in the horticulture industry, propagation, insects and diseases, weed identification and soils, woody plants and pruning, grafting, and herb and vegetable gardening.

Merrimac Detention

E40 Blayton School Garden: Ken Caro: 973-229-4024 and Lisa Stefanick: 757-258-8718

The program provides information and advice on organic and sustainable gardening practices to schools interested in maintaining school gardens.  Advisors provide information and guidance to committees from each school.  These committees include parent organizations and teachers.  They may also speak to classes occasionally as part of an approved curriculum.  Blayton Elementary is the only school participating at this time.


Blaayton School Garden
Blayton School Garden