The Composting Association of Vermont is pleased to announce that the Worms in School workshop is now available statewide for preschool through grade 8 classrooms. Worms in School is a 1 – 2-hour hands-on introduction to vermiculture – or composting with worms. It is designed for classrooms to have ongoing vermiculture based learning. The workshop includes: compost bin set up; care and feeding of worms; harvesting of worms and vermicast (composted material); and follow up technical assistance. Teachers also receive Feed it to the Worms, a 100-page curriculum guide that includes lesson plans with standards, activity pages, templates to collect data, a glossary, and links to electronic resources. The curriculum was developed by Keene State College, Keene, New Hampshire and the New Hampshire Geographic Alliance with funding support from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and USDA.
Worms in School is an example of ‘education for sustainability.’ Students learn how organic material is transformed into a soil amendment, and they experience first hand the sustainability of a food system that includes recycling. In addition to the biology in vermiculture, the worm ‘community’ can be integrated into math, social science, language, and arts curriculums, and in the larger school community to inform responsible stewardship.
You can find more information about Worms in School at: www.compostingvermont.org. Costs for a bin and worms varies depending on the availability of donated bins and worms. There is a one-time fee of $100 for the workshop and follow up technical assistance. See website for more details and to contact a Worms in School instructor.
The Worms in School workshop is made possible through grant funding and partnerships with the UVM Extension Master Gardener/Master Composter Program and Gardener’s Supply in Burlington.