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A special needs class at Monte Vista Middle School in Camarillo is experiencing the joys of gardening.

A class of 12 autistic students in sixth through eighth grade is learning about planting, growing and harvesting a variety of vegetables under the tutelage of Dianne Polen, the school's Life Lab and campus beautification coordinator.

"I love teaching students about gardening and how important it is in their lives to learn to eat healthy and how simple it is to grow their own fresh veggies and fruit," says Polen. "It touches my heart to see how excited they are to work in their garden."

The school garden consists of six garden boxes. The students are growing varieties of lettuce, purple and green cabbage, cauliflower, onions, carrots and broccoli. These vegetables will be picked throughout fall and winter with a new crop for spring to be planted soon. The students compare the taste of fresh grown vegetables and vegetables from the store, plus they get to take the fresh vegetables home with them. They also learn about butterflies and the value of good bugs such as ladybugs and butterflies.

Read the rest of the article at the Ventura County Star

Learn more about special needs students at the American Horticultural Therapy Association

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