Tiny Tots Learning Gardens
Less than a year ago, Tiny Tots Development Center built four organic learning gardens at three of our childcare service sites for children to build a relationship with their food system. Our organization serves an ethnically diverse population of low-income pre-school and elementary-age children. Through the growing season, our gardens were used to provide hands-on nutrition, science, and math lessons to over 400 children and students. Many of our children do not have access to green space or community gardens at home, so our gardens play an integral part in educating urban youth about agriculture and environmental stewardship. Our goals are to educate children about the seed-to-table cycle, increase nutritious eating habits, and give our students the access to clean, organic produce that they deserve.
In the year since establishing our gardens, our children and students demonstrate a measurable change in behavior and knowledge surrounding gardening, cooking, and nutrition. Our pre-school age children are more willing to taste new fruits and vegetables and already show a deeper connection to the soil, through sensory exploration in the garden and our complimentary worm bin activities. During school hours, the gardens located within elementary schools are utilized by the Nutrition Educator and other staff to enhance math and science learning. We use the produce grown in the garden in cooking lessons and send any surplus home with families. One school has even gone as far as starting a compost program in the lunchroom to enhance earth stewardship. These gardens also provide the much needed fresh air for young people in a safe environment. We hope to continue to build our learning garden programs to allow more children and their families to interact with nature.
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.
Join our mailing list:
Connect with us:
Kitchen Gardeners International
3 Powderhorn Drive,
Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA