Monday, April 15, 2013

Children's Program Up and Running!

Things are really starting to take off around the Grow Paseo Pryor Legacy Project.  The garden is starting to take form and as the head of the Program Development Committee I can proudly say that our children’s cooking/gardening classes have been a huge success!  We’ve held two classes thus far and our class size is continually growing as we help teach the kids how to cook with healthy ingredients and beginning and maintain their own raised bed garden plots at the Hope Faith Ministries location.

Two weeks ago we began our classes.  To be honest we had little idea how the class would go despite being prepared for anything that came our way.  How many children would show up?  Would they like eating the food?  Would they even care about the gardening?  Questions kept popping up until the very last minute, and in the face of these questions we forged ahead with smiles on our faces and passion in our hearts.  We’ve been planning for months and it was inspiring to see just how interested the kids seemed in the work we were accomplishing.

The pictures in the post below document the first and second classes from our kids program.  We wanted to start our classes with “get-to-know-you” games.  This way they would feel more comfortable interacting with a bunch of college students trying to lead them for two hours.  The kids were extremely responsive to our guessing game which we played with fruits and vegetables.  We attempted to get the kids to ask more thoughtful questions about themselves (in fruit/vegie form) rather than “what color am I?”  After a few rounds of these games, it was time to introduce the kids to the tools we would be using in the garden.  Everything from spades, to shovels, to trowel and rulers were exemplified to help better prepare the kids for our gardening efforts.

We began our gardening efforts by preparing the beds to be planted.  In order to do this we demonstrated how to turn over the dirt with the shovels and trowels.  Before long the kids decided to go ahead and drop their trowels digging in with their bare hands and truly becoming one with the garden (pictures below)!  After the beds were properly turned it was time to split up and start planting.  The kids got to visually see the difference between bell pepper, chive, cilantro, pea, and radish seeds while helping plant the five vegies in four different raised beds.  The planting was completed but before we could water our beds we discovered a surprise in the compost pile!  A bunch of baby chipmunks squealing away definitely caught our attention for a few minutes before we properly watered the beds.

On the menu for our afternoon was a fruit salad with vanilla yogurt, cinnamon, and topped with walnuts.  The kids helped in preparing the strawberries, apples, and bananas for mixing as well as measuring out the right amount of yogurt and cinnamon to add to our giant bowl of fruit salad. Not many people wanted to add the walnuts, but with a little persuading we were able to convince the kids to try at least one walnut. We had such a great time sharing our new found knowledge of gardening and cooking with the children who attended our first cooking class, and I was even more excited to hear that we have expanded our attendance and hopefully it will continue to grow as time progresses.  More updates soon to come from the Program Development Committee!  And don’t forget to take a look at the wonderful pictures from our classes in the posts below.

-Kyle Alexander, Program Development

1 comment:

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