by: Crystal Cornwall, Suneel Dhillon, Mikaela Dillabaugh, Navneet Gill, Bishara Hersi, Grace Ho, Tian Jin, Zohal Kerami, Kim Nguyen, Elyze Yamasaki
The Humber College nursing students had a great time working with Green Thumbs this semester!
Through Green Thumbs, we had a first-hand opportunity to see how nonprofit organizations can effectively change communities. Their impact closely aligns with our community health nursing goals, which are based on health promotion and sustainable community capacity building. Learning environmental sustainability through Kentucky Coffee Tree and Pea Shoots programming was an added bonus, particularly when seeing how programs could be geared towards children in a virtual setting.
With the guidance of Green Thumbs, we had the opportunity to design our own programs regarding healthy nutrition and mental wellness for kids. Five nursing students made an interactive “choose your own adventure” story that helped kids make healthy food choices. These were based on the Canada Food guide and taught children the benefits of different foods to the body. Students got to design their own healthy breakfast plate to match the Canada Food guide recommendations.
The other group of 5 nursing students created an interactive story delivered by Google Slides that followed a character on a camping journey. The students learned how to cope with emotions like frustration, fear, embarrassment, etc. as the character faced different challenges throughout the story. A “survival toolkit” worksheet was developed for students to draw or write on as the story progressed. Coping skills such as deep breathing and stretching were also taught throughout the story.
Building relationships with the students and community during these programs was very rewarding, particularly when the kids were realizing their impact on their own health as well as within the environment around them. We hope programs like Green Thumbs’ will continue to be developed in the future as they strengthen communities around Toronto.
Many thanks to Green Thumbs for having us!