Through the Charity Club (now Inside Out Club) seed donation project students learned empathy and felt proud of their gardening.
At our last Charity Club meeting in April, students at Elmwood Elementary were excited to share with the group what their favorite fruits and vegetables are to eat. When asked whether or not they had gardens at home, hands shot up in excitement to talk about their gardens. Others shared their experience helping with the school garden at Elmwood.
We talked with the students about how fresh fruits and vegetables are expensive and that many families cannot afford to buy them. We asked them, “How else can these families get fresh, organic food to eat?” One answer was to grow them. That’s exactly where the GardenWorks Project came in.
The GardenWorks Project builds gardens for low income families that want to grow their own food, gives them a garden coach for the summer, and provides educational programs around composting and gardening. The students watched a video about their programs and read Compost Stew: an A-Z Recipe for the Earth by Mary McKenna Siddals, which is a really fun book about composting! They were excited to learn more.
As part of the lesson, the students in Charity Club planted pea seeds to take home, nurture and eat this summer. At Elmwood, the student also planted kale, basil, lettuce and peppers in special trays. These seeds were taken care of as part of the Elmwood garden and slowly over a month’s time turned into seedlings.
Those seedlings were donated to the GardenWorks Project to be planted into their spring garden builds. I went to one garden build and saw the first of the few seedlings planted.
Tina Koral, Co-Founder of the GardenWorks Project told us that “the family has two children, ages 15 and 8, and had no gardening experience prior to their garden build.” The family receiving the garden helped with the garden build and planted the seeds alongside the GardenWorks’ volunteers. I got the sense of pride they already had in just that first step towards growing their own food.
All of the Charity Club students should feel proud that the seeds they planted will help feed many families in our community this summer.
Through this lesson the students learned compassion and empathy as well as experiencing gardening and the sense of pride that comes from it.
Thank you so much to the Elmwood Garden Club, led by Sandy Bell, for helping care for our seeds, so they could bloom into seedlings for families in need.
To learn more about the I Support Community Charity Club (now Inside Out Club) program, please click HERE.