Sweet Smiles and Sweet Peas: Summer programming with elementary students and Concrete Boys and Girls Club
Article by: Becky Moore
The pandemic caused the summer of 2020 to look quite a bit different than previous summers for Concrete Farm to School, but we were very grateful we still got to spend time with kids! Last summer, we began a partnership with Concrete Boys and Girls Club to provide programming for summer camp participants. We did garden and cooking sessions each week with large groups of 20-30 kids at a time. This summer, we maintained that partnership. Pandemic rules required the group sizes to be much smaller, with only 9 kids or less and their adult chaperone. We also unfortunately could not cook with the kids. However, we did have weekly garden sessions with three different age groups of B&GC: kids entering grades K-2, kids entering grades 3-5, and middle school youth.
The small group sizes and consistent participation made for a summer that was not quite as busy and lively, but much more personal and relationship based. Garden educator Becky Moore tailored experiences to exactly what the kids wanted to do. We harvested vegetables, planted crops, tended to garden and greenhouse beds, built things out of bamboo, made seed packets, and did lots of taste testing of fresh veggies right from our garden beds! Kids learned new skills, practiced inquiry and observation, spent time outside, and got the chance to interact with peers and adults in a safe manner during these isolating times.
These garden sessions with the elementary aged kids and Boys and Girls Club added joy, laughter, and curiosity to our summer. We are grateful to our partners and to our students for this time spent together!