It Takes A Village

Garden spaces are a huge part of our programs.  Children are regularly engaged in planting, growing, and harvesting in the gardens.  It’s common to see children watering plants or picking herbs.  The foods harvested are used for cooking experiences in the classroom or used in the kitchen for meals cooked by the nutrition aides.

So, when we went into remote learning due to Covid-19, the team at Alta Vista Child Development Center started brainstorming ways to give this experience to families in their homes.  This led to a BIG community outreach project to create garden kits for children and their families.

After supporting our program with this outreach project, this is what Michelle Ewing Berger, who works with Green Acres Nursery, shared via Facebook:

“I love my job. They help me to help my community. Head Start played such a vital [role] in our lives, they not only help children, but they help the whole family. The teachers, the home visits, the programs they offered changed our lives. Because of their influence on my life today I have over 21 years of being clean and sober. I try to give back in whatever ways I can. Last year, through the help of my work, I donated seeds to the school my grandsons go to. They, the teachers and preschoolers and the families, created gardens that fed the children and families.

This year I donated seeds and soil, then Covid 19 happened.

The teachers got really creative and sent home gardens to all their Head Start families. Through my simple act of donating seeds and soil a whole program grew to help families be a little more self sufficient and to teach them how to grow their own food, and to give them the tools to start their own gardens. They had a drive by ‘Parade’ to send the gardens home to the families.

Head Start planted so many seeds in my life; the seeds of recovery, the seeds to make me believe that I’m worthy of the life I have today, the seeds to how to give my children a better life and somehow to help them grow to be the fantastic people and parents they are today. Head Start not only changes children’s life’s, but it makes the whole families lives better.

The garden parade made my heart so happy that the happiness leaked out my eyes.

I always wish I could do more for what they gave me and my family, but for today I do what I can.

So many people are a part in this please tag yourselves or anyone involved in this…it takes a village to raise a child.”

-Michelle Ewing Berger