Thomas J. Waters Elementary School

Program Type: 
Garden Classrooms
Grade Level/Age Group: 
Middle School, Upper Elementary, Lower Elementary, Kindergarten
Number of Individuals Program Serves: 
Year Founded: 
About the Program: 

Waters Elementary School (a Chicago Public School) serves over 600 students from many different ethnicities, cultures and economic levels, the majority of which are from minority and low-income families.  For most schools, exposing children to ecological studies is simply not in the budget.  However, for nearly 20 years Waters has been dedicated to making environmental responsibility a priority, as we belive that learning about the environment is as necessary as reading and math.  And although we are frequently hindered by financial realities, through sheer determination we have been able to implement many innovative ecology projects and programs not found at other schools - especially those in urban settings.  And regardless of tight budgets we are determined to keep our garden growing as we have seen the positive impact on our students by their interest, our school parents and neighbors by their enthusiasm, and the community through the nonprofit organizations that we share our produce with.