East side church’s Peace Garden growing little gardeners

The Worthmore Academy in Indianapolis is using a trip to the garden to teach their students more than just about growing vegetables. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS Ind. (WISH) – The Worthmore Academy in Indianapolis is using a trip to the garden to teach their students more than just about growing vegetables. It’s a chance for kids with special needs to learn about where their food comes from.

Principal and founder Brenda Jackson says they’ve had the same goal for their students since it was founded in 1988.

“Our goal is to help these kids to get the coping skills to enter in their home schools,” said Jackson.

This school focuses on students with special needs, kids on the autism spectrum, diagnosed with Dyslexia, A.D.D. A.D.H.D.or have a communication disorder.

Their love for learning is enormous.

Tate Nielsen, the garden manager, says this trip is more than just for fun.

“This is a big deal to me, and the kids are a big piece of this because if we can start kids learning this stuff and serving their communities young like this, it will pay off and pay off into the future,” said Nielsen.

That part of Indianapolis is known as a food desert. The produce from the garden goes directly to nearby food pantries and for Barb Burton, a parent of a student at Worthmore, it’s a way for her son to give back.

“Sometimes for special needs kids it gives them a sense of giving,” said Burton. ”It gives them a sense of being able to help others and to do something nice and to do something important like their doing something special.”

The garden and its volunteers are able to grow thousands of pounds of produce. Last year they donated to five different food pantries on the east side.

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