Preschool Garden Project
Kennebec Valley Community Action Program (KVCAP) Child & Family Services delivers comprehensive Head Start programming to at-risk children and families. Our Skowhegan preschool is located in KVCAP’s second largest service area and is the main preschool center in rural Somerset County. Curriculum integrates services inclusive of education, physical health (including nutrition, mental health and disabilities) and family services. Engaging parents and household members as essential partners, KVCAP supports families with education and comprehensive supports as their child’s first teacher to improve health, self-sufficiency and long-term parent and child well-being and success.
KVCAP will work collaboratively with community volunteers and local farmers to plant container gardens with children and families. The curriculum encompasses books about vegetables, tool safety, physical activity of planting, sun protection, hydration needs for people and plants, how things grow with tender care, and the science of change as seeds become seedlings and plants, then vegetables for consumption. Each container garden will go home with children in the spring for the family to continue to nurture the growth of their personal garden and reap the benefits of the vegetables.
Many families are repeat families as they enroll siblings. Kindergarten occurs in the facility so the rapport with families extends year after year. Education provided by local farmers will provide guidance to parents on the gardening process. In the fall, observations of color and texture, cooking variations and taste testing, and graphing data will be included in weekly curriculum. Additionally, community collaborations such as visits to/from Skowhegan Farmers, Skowhegan Farmers Market, Gris Mill staff, public school staff and local volunteers will be incorporated.
The goal of this Skowhegan Garden Project is to encourage children and parents to grow their own foods and increase vegetable consumption. Families will learn about nutritional aspects of gardening, locally grown foods and cost benefits.
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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Kitchen Gardeners International
3 Powderhorn Drive,
Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA