by Emily Pascall, March 17, 2016
We completed our last pea shoot program a few weeks ago at Sprucecourt Public School. For the last three weeks, I have been co-facilitating an interactive gardening exercise for children, along with my fellow placement students from George Brown, Mia and Richard.
What a fun, exciting, challenging and rewarding experience it has been introducing children to the wonders of soil and seeds! The programs are quick – usually completed in under an hour, and in alignment with the Ontario elementary school curriculum, In the program, we discuss with children what is needed to grow plants, how plants require the same essential elements as humans to grow and be happy and healthy (sun, water, nutrients), and what soil is composed of.
The children have been wonderfully inquisitive and genuinely interested in caring for their new plant life. Their curiosity reminds me how important it is that children, especially urban children, feel a sense of connection to nature, and how that relationship should be built at a young age. Fostering such a relationship in some small way, helps to ensure that when these children grow, they grow into adults that have a loving and respectful relationship with the land and nature.
What was especially sweet and rewarding to me was to hear the answers to the question I asked the children at my table at the end of our session. I asked them: “What is your favourite thing about gardening?” Some of the responses I received were: “I love eating the food that I have grown all by myself,” “Gardening is good for the planet and me!” and “Because gardening makes me love the Earth.” Co-facilitating the pea shoot program at Sprucecourt Public School reminds me how thoughtful, aware and caring children are to plants, nature and the planet!
It has been fascinating to witness children exploring nature and gardening. It is with their careful attention to detail and the thoughtfulness they exude when interacting with the soil and seeds that leaves me so excited to continue my work at Green Thumbs Growing Kids. I see so much value and necessity in sharing with children the wonders of gardening, plants, and nature.
Emily Pascall is a first year student in the Community Worker program at George Brown College. She is passionate about environment and food justice issues, and feminism. Emily is committed to cultivating a better and kinder world for humans and the Earth.