One of the main goals of the OISCA International NGO from Japan is to "serve humanity through environmentally sustainable development." We continue that same ethos through our daily activities with our students. On any given day, our students can expect to 'get dirty' and have their hands and feet in soil, sand, water, or grass - and hopefully all four. This is a major part of our learning at OISCA. The 'hands-on' practical exploration of our surroundings in nature. One the main activities to facilitate that is gardening. Here we can see our Pre-K class (2 and 3 years of age) engaging in basic gardening. But what skills do children learn from nature and how does gardening help a child’s development?
Reliability and responsibility of taking care plants day after day
Self-confidence: performing tasks independently
Exploring their own curiosity of nature
Physical activity and motor skills
Growing the love of nature
Teamwork with classmates and teachers
Creativity in designing their own landscapes
Ultimately, we want our students to understand the cycles involved in nature and the possibilities that flow from them. They can simply look at their school lunches and understand what goes into the whole process. From eating their school lunch to composting organic leftovers from the lunches back into the soil which in turn helps grow vegetables that they can have for a future lunch - a full cycle! A great reason to get your hands and feet dirty!