The Alabama Junior Master Gardener program is committed to helping young people become gardeners and contributing citizens. The curriculum provides a hands-on approach to learning horticulture, environmental science, leadership, and life skills.
The program engages children in novel, hands-on group and individual learning experiences that promote a love of gardening, develop an appreciation for the environment, and cultivate the mind. Junior Master Gardener inspires youth to be of service to others through service learning and leadership development projects, and rewards them with certification.
Goals of the Program
- Develop leadership skills–building youth leaders by utilizing environmental science as a vehicle to develop academic skills, character education, and service learnings.
- Enhance reading, writing, science, and math skills through hands-on and applied learning.
- Provide certification and recognition for youth for attaining personal goals, fostering personal pride and responsibilities.
- Utilize peer teaching and cross generational mentoring for program delivery.
- Improve the health and nutrition of youth through increased horticultural and nutrition education.
- Provide a strong and positive link between public and higher education to collaboratively prepare youth for tomorrow’s workplace through career exploration, school to work programs, and basic life skill enhancement.
- Identify community needs and volunteer opportunities.
Students use what they have learned to be of service to others. Examples of Alabama Junior Master Gardener service projects include growing produce for donation to food banks, community beautification projects, and class businesses generating funds for local charities.
Youths completing requirements in a given chapter or for the overall program earn certification awarded by the National Junior Master Gardener’s Office and affiliated state partner universities.