JMU professor appears on PBS for collaborative garden project

Published: Jul. 2, 2020 at 4:06 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — Amy Goodall, an associate professor for the School of Integrated Sciences at James Madison University (JMU) was highlighted on PBS’s “Virginia Home Grown.”

The piece on Goodall surrounded her collaborative work between JMU, elementary schools in Harrisonburg and her effort to put gardens at the schools. She said she had the idea a few years ago that her students could use the gardens as reseach and the principal of Keister Elementary School at the time thought it would be great for students at the school to learn as well.

Keister Elementary School was the very first one to have a garden put in. It is both a pollinator and a vegetable garden.

"It has the learning piece, but it also has the piece where, unexpectedly, I've found the joy between the elementary students and the JMU students interacting," Goodall said.

Students will come over during their recess and work with the JMU students as they conduct research and take care of the garden. Teachers also integrate the gardens into their curriculum.

The segment on PBS was supposed to focus on June being pollinator month, but put a lot of emphasis on the gardening collaboration.

"It was really good for PBS to show that this is a possibility, that you know, sometimes we only think about the age levels we work with, but this means that all educators in Harrisonburg are interested in all ages," Goodall said.

She said that she would like other school districts across the commonwealth to take on similar initiatives, and would be happy to share her advice with anyone who wants to listen.

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