This week, I’d like to share about a partnership event with SYG and the Strong Girls group.
Strong Girls is an after-school program for 6th – 8th grade girls hosted by the University of Kansas’s Sport and Exercise Psychology Lab and WIN for KC.
Middle school aged girls from Kansas City public, private and charter schools are matched up with a female college student who acts as their mentor/leader.
Strong Girls event manager Hally Piontek explained: “We meet once a week and participate in physical activities and learning activities that encourage a motivational-caring climate, teamwork, kindness, and respect among the girls and their leaders, that we encourage them to take into their day-to-day lives outside of the program.”
I asked Hally, “Why is a club like Strong Girls offered?”
“A club like Strong Girls is important because it empowers everyone involved. Every week we create a safe place to learn, try new things, and meet new people. Middle school is a pivotal time for girls, and this program hopes to alleviate some of the school or societal pressures they face during this age. Strong Girls strives to provide a safe space for these girls to be exactly who they are without the fear of anyone judging or making fun of them.”
This March, Schoolyard Gardens spoke to Strong Girls about the importance of growing plants for food and the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables as part of a balanced diet.
The girls and I made two Schoolyard Gardens recipes Cream Cheese Radish Rounds and Kale Apple Salad.
Before we made the radish recipe I asked for the girls to raise their hands if they liked radishes.
Evidently, there were no radish fans in the group.
But they were committed to trying the radish recipe and I was pleased and quite surprised to see that most of the girls changed their minds after the Cream Cheese Radish Rounds recipe was sampled.
Then we made a Kale Apple Salad, taking turns massaging the rough kale with our hands, breaking down the leaves’ rough texture.
Hally said “Our Strong Girls thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity and will remember this one-of-a-kind experience! After each meeting, our Strong Girls journal for about 5 minutes. After the KCCG demonstration, all the girls wrote about how much they learned and that all these vegetables they never heard of were surprisingly delicious!”
It was a pleasure meeting with the Strong Girls Club KC and Schoolyard Gardens is grateful for their partnership.
If you would like to try our popular Kale Apple Salad for yourself, be sure to check out our tutorial for the recipe on our Schoolyard Gardens YouTube channel.