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    Educational Sessions

    Submitting a Session Proposal

    ​Submitted proposals are now being considered for workshops and lectures adhering to this year's theme, Building Blocks for a Sustainable Future.  Presenters will be informed of their session's status by January 31.

    Building Blocks for a Sustainable Future

    Climate change, pollinator-species decline, and environmental degradation have become all too familiar themess in our lives and communities. As citizens and as educators, the strategies we deploy, the choices we make, and the values and messages we communicate have the potential for real impact. Providing the next generation with the knowledge and the tools to create a sustainable environmental future and finding ways to maintain and grow the gardens and programs that nurture our youth is the focus of the 2019 National Children & Youth Garden Symposium.  We are calling for sessions that embody our theme by introducing attendees to innovative sustainable gardening curriculum and practices, exploring “green” career resources, and highlighting model partnerships for attracting the human, financial, and intellectual capital needed to sustain youth gardening endeavors. Attendees will come away enlivened and energized with a vital set of tools and resources to enable their students to make a difference that counts.

    Sessions may be submitted in the following categories:

    Advanced Studies (sessions focus on providing pathways for youth to careers in horticulture/sustainability)
    Community (sessions highlight partnerships and collaboration, and volunteer-based activities that are designed to grow and sustain community engagement and support)
    Curriculum (sessions provide attendees with the tools/knowledge to create lessons/programs/activities focusing on one or more topics relating to sustainability (ie pollinators, ecosystems, biodiversity, soil health, etc.)
    Green Practices (sessions explore best practices and innovations in environmental sustainability in the design and operation of youth gardens)
    Leadership (sessions help attendees learn how to build a case for youth garden programs, secure funding, get a project off the ground, manage programs, or develop metrics/measure ROI)
    Resilience (sessions discuss challenges and propose methods to help diverse student populations grow and thrive in an outdoor setting)

    Writing a Successful Session Proposal

    Thank you for your interest in submitting a session proposal for the American Horticultural Society’s 2019 National Children & Youth Garden Symposium (NCYGS) to be held in Madison, Wisconsin July 10-13.  The Symposium is all about sharing ideas and learning from each other, and we are excited to review your proposal!  Please review the following tips for writing a successful session proposal. 

    • Try to make session titles descriptive and specific.  This will attract more attention than a vague or general title, and help attendees to quickly understand what your session is about and what sets it apart from the other sessions being offered.
    • There are two session types:  Lectures are 60 minutes long and provide an opportunity for sharing/discussion of a certain idea(s) or topic.  Hands-on elements are welcome but not required in a lecture presentation.  Workshops are 90 minutes long and should actively engage participants with hands-on activities and/or significant participant interaction.
    • Carefully consider the educational objectives of your session, and how they will be achieved.  One of the evaluation criteria for session proposals is the value to practitioners - what new knowledge, ideas, resources, etc. will attendees be able to take home with them from your session to benefit their own work?  Examples and stories of experiences are vital educational tools, but should not be the entirety of the presentation.  It is beneficial for sessions to focus on techniques, theory, and practices that are directly applicable to attendees, supported by specific examples. 
    • Keep your session’s intended audience in mind.  NCYGS has a diverse audience, with classroom teachers, "informal" educators from a variety of organizations, botanical gardens staff, landscape architects, program coordinators, and more who work with a wide range of age groups (pre-K through 12th grade).  Most attendees currently work in the field of children & youth gardening in some capacity.
    • Carefully consider the format and flow of your presentation.  Activities such as breaking into small groups may work well for some presentations, but not in all contexts.
    • Be as informative, specific, and accurate as possible in your detailed session description.  What exactly will participants do in your session?  What specific topics will be addressed, and how?  If a session proposal is accepted, editors will use the information in this section to create the session descriptions for attendees.

    Email education@ahsgardening.org or call 703-768-5700 ext. 121 with questions.  Thank you for your time and interest!