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What is Experiential Education?

Experiential education is the backbone of what we do at SEEDS. We believe that learning by doing is the best way to learn new skills and leadership our EcoSchool students.

Julie Johnson, who serves as the SEEDS EcoSchool Site Coordinator at Benzie Central High School, answered this question without falter, “It’s one of the best ways that someone can actually learn. Right now, we’re learning about soil and we’ve got our hands in the dirt!”

SEEDS students at Benzie Central High School are currently planting a garden to better learn about soil composition and what components aid in plant growth and what makes certain soil compositions more desirable than others.

“It’s important for the students to learn about soil types everywhere, but by focusing on the soil here, we make it more relevant for them to answer questions like, ‘What does this mean for the future of agriculture or agricultural practices? What does this mean for gardeners?” said Johnson.

Julie’s high school students work extensively with Grow Benzie, a nonprofit that enriches our region by fostering positive action to increase access to healthful foods, jobs, life skills, and each other while providing a community place that supports and nurtures these activities. Grow Benzie has supported Julie’s group by providing more opportunity for the students to learn by doing on a number of skill such as beekeeping, sewing and agriculture.

SEEDS has been successful in its programming because of the support it provides students throughout the school year. According to Kris Hall, the EcoSchool Assistant Program Director, one of the most important parts of their work is to create safe spaces for the students and giving them room to fail.
“In order to be ready to learn, explore, and grow, students need to feel safe. Creating that supportive environment is always a top priority for us, because we know it’s not always guaranteed elsewhere. Our team members act as healthy role models to the students in our programs.”

— Kris Hall, EcoSchool Assistant Program Director

How can you help?

You can support the work we are doing by checking out our EcoSchool job openings and joining our team, sharing the job openings with your network, or making a financial gift to SEEDS. EcoSchool engages hundreds of Northern Michigan students every day! We are embedded into eleven school buildings representing six school districts.