Helen R. Godfrey University Child Learning and Care Center has received $1,500
as part of a $100,000 grant to develop garden beds with fencing in order to
encourage the use and production of local food for children.
program and grant, called Sprouting Healthy Kids, was created through the
Security Health Plan and targets children of all ages. The program focuses on
health-related concerns of child obesity. The child care center has children
who vary from 6 weeks to 4 years old who will be involved in the entire
process, from planting seeds to harvesting.
grant is for teaching kids healthy lifestyles, and that’s something we try to
teach the kids here. We try to teach families too, so we’re hoping families can
be a part of this, and it will become something bigger. It won’t just be a
garden. It will be children learning to grow gardens so they can take that
skill and do it at home,” said Rachel Hansard, a teacher at the child care
summer, the child care center also cares for grade school children who will be
a big help in the gardening process.
children see that what they’re doing makes a difference they get a feeling of
accomplishment,” Hansard said.
children will be learning through hands-on experiences.
going be a whole process so they can see it from start to end. They’re going be
harvesting it and we’re going be cooking stuff, so they’ll get to see healthy
meals that we’ll be using as snacks. There are all different kinds of things
you can do to teach healthy eating,” Hansard said.
child care center is always doing projects with the kids and keeping them
entertained. Two years ago, they raised money for the Humane Society by
participating in bake sales so that they could donate goods for the animals.
gardening is our main focus right now, but there’s always something going on,”
center is hoping that the garden will be a start for a larger program.
now, we’re starting small. We’ll just have three garden beds, but we’re hoping
to grow and get more space because we just have our little playground that we
can grow on. Hopefully, we can get more space nearby so we can grow more and
maybe be a part of the Farmer’s Market or even have a little vegetable stand
outside to bring in the community,” Hansard said.
loves her job and loves seeing the children get excited about learning.
be fun to see how excited they get about the garden. If you can get kids
excited about it now, that potential will only grow,” Hansard said.
child care center is putting together a committee to make decisions about the
garden. So far they have Hansard, another teacher and a parent, but they are
also looking for a student who will be around the area this summer as well as
anyone else who would like to volunteer and help out.