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      School gardens growing in popularity

      As parents we often plant seeds of sort with our children and watch them grow. But, these days carrots, greens and tomatoes are coming out of the ground in school yards across the country. Teachers consider this hands-on cooperative learning.

      The instructors say, they may not realize it now, but the time these children spend in the garden is enhancing their academic and social learning experience.

      Lindsay Turner is executive director of the Druid City Garden Project in Tuscaloosa. Twice a week, she makes a trip to Stillman Heights Elementary School to help students tend to their garden.

      Cooperative learning programs are growing in popularity. Schools in Texas, North Carolina and other states are participating in school gardening programs. In addition to science, students learn valuable lessons about teamwork and leadership skills.

      In Birmingham the grounds at Glen Iris Elementary School are prepped for fall flowers, fruits and vegetables. Math and science coach Ann Jemison says she looks forward to incorporating the garden into her lesson plans.

      Lindsay Turner says her ultimate wish is that school gardens will change children's eating habit and help with childhood obesity.