KHCC Garden Project
Kingsbridge Heights Community Center (KHCC) Early Childhood Services runs a Pre-K program currently involving three classrooms for 4 year-old children with a total of 60 students. A planned expansion will allow us to double our student population by September 2014. As required by Head Start and NYC Early Learn funding, 95% of the families served meet below poverty line criteria. Families live in the Bronx surrounding KHCC, within zip codes 10463 and 10468.
There is currently no open ground that is available for this site, so the garden space will be created with the use of planters by the front entrance of the facility. In the beginning we will purchase three planters with the idea that, as monies become available, more can be added.
The program for the children will concentrate on the following points:
- Nature: plants, soil and creatures that are connected, such as worms and insects.
- Nutrition: cooking and eating healthy foods.
Since the children will be new to gardening, we will be starting with the basics; what is soil, what is a seed and how do the two things work together. Where do seeds come from and what happens when you plant it in the soil?
Children living in a city environment have few opportunities to put their hands into soil simply for the pleasure of it, then enjoy watching something grow that they planted with their own hands. As the crops come in, youngsters will be able to literally taste the fruits of their labor. Healthy fresh fruits and vegetables are hard to come by in this neighborhood, and this is one step in stopping the cycle of poor nutrition and health problems by teaching about the importance (and good taste) of simple, healthy, unprocessed foods.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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