Is there anything better than kids digging in the dirt at school? Healthy microbes, hands-on learning, exposure to fresh air, homegrown veggies, and a mess you don’t have to clean up! It’s all part of our philosophy to nurture the whole child — Mind, Muscles, and Heart— at Empower Language Academy. 

We love to get kids outdoors and into the garden, where they build brainpower and robust health while enjoying the natural world. One of the best ways we know to do this is through our gardening program. The entire plant life cycle, from seed to plate, is a part of our curriculum! 

Homegrown Food & Hands-On Learning

Along with dual Spanish and English immersion, inquiry based learning, and our dynamic Cross Fit kids fitness program, we nurture healthy kids by exposing them to the bounty that nature provides. Our sunny location in Linda Vista provides the perfect growing conditions for a flourishing year-round gardening program.

Our school garden is a place of hands-on learning for the body and mind. We empower choice and authenticity by encouraging students to pick what they plant in their classroom gardens, everything from spinach to aloe vera to fruit trees. Children plant the seeds, water the plants, tend to the fruits and vegetables and then harvest at just the right time. 

An Empower Language Academy eats corn on the cob outdoors at a picnic table

Reverence for Nature

Garden growth becomes a source of pride, as well as joy and excitement in everyone’s day when we check on what’s fresh and alive in the garden.

In addition to learning about the seasons and when to harvest, students learn patience and the true value of our food, as well as the work that farmers do to bring us that side of steamed broccoli at lunch. They learn about the nourishing properties found in the colorful foods and what it takes to support their growing bodies. 

Empower students are so enamored by gardening that they are motivated to earn class dollars just so they can “buy” vegetables from the garden! When you see kids spending their own, hard-earned “cash” to buy spinach that they grew with their own hands and hearts, you know kids are invested in their learning.

Real-World Application

Despite the temporary switch to at-home learning during the pandemic, we still brought our philosophy of healthy, wholesome foods and fit bodies to the children. Instead of growing in our school gardens, our dedicated staff and families distributed gardening materials to student’s homes! Our learning was happening in the real world, with families contributing to the growth of children’s gardens. We turned lemons into lemonade by engaging our community and creating opportunities where it didn’t seem possible. 

Rainbow chard growing in a planter box at Empower Language Academy

Wholesome Foods

Many families express that they choose Empower Language Academy for their children because of our emphasis on healthy, fit kids by providing nutritious foods throughout the day. Breakfast and lunch at Empower contain a variety of colorful vegetables and filling proteins and carbohydrates. Families are encouraged to bring healthy snacks and it’s not uncommon to see kids snacking on the vegetables they grew in the garden. We even provide healthy recipes and cooking classes for kids centered around a well-balanced plate and the types of things we grow in our garden. 

We recognize that children may require a few chances to “meet” a new food before they embrace it at the dinner table. That’s why we created our Fruit & Vegetable of the Month incentive. Our coach provides rewards for children who are willing to take a risk and try the fruit or vegetable of the month. It’s motivating and fun and a great way to introduce a variety of fresh foods to kids.

Gardening is truly real-world, hands-on, authentic learning for the 21st century. Empower Language Academy is teaching kids to value good-for-them food alongside reverence for the natural world—dig in with us!

About Empower Language Academy 

Empower Language Academy innovates in immersive dual language learning, fitness and technology to create global citizens. Our holistic approach to Spanish immersion empowers a generation of creative thinkers and effective communicators to lead healthy and fit lifestyles. Our tuition-free public charter school serving grades K-6 is a caring community; providing students from all backgrounds with an educational experience that honors multilingualism, critical thinking, and fitness. Join us in convenient Linda Vista. Enrolling now! 

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