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Reflections: Placement Students Spring 2018

Maseeda Majeed and Kylee Hinde have been working here at Green Thumbs this spring, and they’ve got stories to tell!

Maseeda (right) with Hilda

Maseeda: I’m in the Community Worker Program at George Brown College. Through my placement experience at Green Thumbs, I’ve really been able to attain and fine tune my skills as a community worker. As a placement student I was exposed to a variety of different activities within the organization, such as helping to carry out programs alongside Hilda, the Garden and Food Educator, and learn how to plant and care for seedlings. I was exposed to working with community children, and was able to involve them in a variety of gardening activities. I helped create workshops for the March Break program at the Allan Gardens Children’s Conservatory, and communicate about this program to the local agencies that brought their camp groups. I appreciate the benefits of hands-on learning and I could see that the children were engaged in all of the activities that we conducted throughout the sessions.

Working alongside the Green Thumbs staff has been instrumental to my growth as a community worker. I learnt the power of discovery, self growth and awareness for gardening and the powerful impact it has on the community.

Kylee (left) with students at Allan Gardens

Kylee: Hello All! I’ve been working at Green Thumbs for the past 9 weeks! I am a student from George Brown College in the Social Service Worker program. Over the past 9 weeks, I’ve had many opportunities to work with diverse groups of students, providing them with programs related to gardening, food, the environment and cooking. Despite colder temperatures, I have been able to participate in existing programs as well as create, implement and facilitate my own!

I have always been an avid gardener, thanks to the teachings of my grandmother. In a world where we typically have little control, I have found the ability to actively change the physical layout of my surroundings to be empowering. In University, I grew very passionate about how music adds significant enrichment to education. I aimed to extend this concept to another passion of mine: plants, animals and the environment.   

My desire to work with Green Thumbs came from a deeply rooted desire to serve the community in a meaningful way. With a background in music, therapy and children’s programming, I have seen the ways in which programs that utilize tactile learning empower children and youth in ways that mainstream education often cannot. The children I have worked with at Green Thumbs have shown me the value of the garden in the school and classroom.

I have been extremely grateful to work with Green Thumbs these past few months. I have learned that gardening is not only enriching for children as an addition to traditional education, but that it is essential to empower the next generation. I have spent considerable time working with children who have developmental disabilities and behavioral disorders and have found the ability of the garden to ground and connect all people to be profound. We should all be fluent in the language of food and the earth because food cannot be an education elective.

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