Our Spotlight School this week is Educare Kansas City. Over the past few seasons, the Educare garden has really become part of the school’s culture as students, teachers and other staff members all work so hard to make sure their garden thrives. Take a look below to see what they had to say!
Educare Kansas City provides Early Head Start/Head Start services to children and families of Wyandotte County. We currently have six garden beds along with 10 classroom mobile gardens and a multitude of grow bags and other containers. This year we are growing: carrots, peas, swiss chard, green onions, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and a large variety of herbs and flowers.
In our Infant/Toddler classrooms, children ages one to three years old assist with taking care of the garden spaces. They help prep the soil, plant the seeds, water, and weed. There are lots of opportunities for young children to feel, smell, touch, and taste fresh vegetables.
Carolyn Davis, Infant/Toddler Teacher, had this to say about the kiddos she works with:
Community 5, has been very curious about what’s below the dirt so, we posed the question of “what do you think lives in the dirt?” No one really knew so, we began to dig, and what do you think we found? WORMS !!!!!!! We talked about how worms live in the dirt. They held the worms and watched them move. Afterwards we put them safely back in the soil and continued to dig.
Dama Johnson, Preschool Teacher, had this to say about her preschoolers in the garden:
Our preschool classrooms (3 to 5 years old) have really enjoyed planting onions, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, and several herbs. They water them and weed them and are thrilled when we can harvest something and try it out. They have been watching for worms and keeping a close eye on the progress of the potatoes since they decided we need to make French fries!
Educare is very passionate about the community aspect of their garden and enjoy involving their families in on the fun. This season, they grew enough produce to send some veggies home and even provided Take Home Gardening Kits so that those families still learning virtually could experience gardening too.
During ‘grab and go’, when families take home food prepared by the kitchen, they are also able to take home fresh vegetables harvested from our garden. Here, families are offered green onions and swiss chard. We also included lots of SYG resources such as recipes, activity cards and Take Home Gardening Kits!
Thank you so much for all you do to make the garden possible at your school Educare Kansas City. Keep up the good work and thank you for sharing!
If you’d like to have your school featured as part of our Spotlight series this summer, please reach out to your SYG coordinator. Happy Summer!