By Karim Shamsi-Basha
For Nicole Dugat, executive director of Schoolyard Roots, growing gardens at Tuscaloosa schools is not the only thing she does. Her nonprofit also grows minds.
“Our mission is to cultivate curiosity and connection through hands-on learning gardens. We engage communities with food and nature to inspire and bring classroom concepts to life,” Dugat said. “We love teaching the children about gardens, but they also learn much more than gardening.”
Schoolyard Roots is a partner with 11 Tuscaloosa-area elementary schools in both city and county districts. Dugat and her staff employ hands-on teaching and project-based learning through outdoor gardens. They have provided this educational program to more than 4,700 students, from kindergarten through fifth grade.
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