Walking in to All Our Kin last Thursday morning, there was one very obvious addition to the office’s general décor: an oversized check for $25,000. Last Wednesday, All Our Kin staff and providers attended the Stratton Faxon Community Builder Contest celebration. The event marked the conclusion of a fierce competition in which nearly 25,000 people voted for their favorite among several organizations’ projects. In addition to All Our Kin, voters had the opportunity to vote for projects created by Gaylord Specialty Hospital, Billings Ford Community Works, and Common Ground. We were honored to be included in such a wonderful group of nonprofits!
We are especially excited for the opportunity to showcase our project, which is very exciting for us all. The project, which we piloted just this spring, will install organic gardens in the backyards of family child care providers in urban areas. Two family child care providers, Josie Queen and P. Marie Gibson, already have gardens through the project, and both of them attended the party. It was obvious that the project, which community volunteer Shel Swanson characterized as a “labor of love,” was just that for all who took part. Marie Gibson, for example, has transformed her garden into an outdoor classroom. At P. Marie’s home the garden is a source of healthy food and a tool for teaching her children about healthy eating. When asked about the project, P. Marie gushed, “the possibilities are endless.” Working with All Our Kin’s educational consultants, she is eager to broaden her curriculum so that the garden plays a more central role. And she, like all of us at All Our Kin, hopes that many other family childcare providers will be able to incorporate organic gardens into their programs and into their curricula.
With the generous support of Stratton Faxon, her hope will come true. We plan to expand the pilot program next year, planting many more organic gardens in many more family child care programs across the city. We also plan to use these additional resources to support our educational consultants, so they can help family child care providers create lessons that utilize children’s innate curiosity about the natural world to foster cognitive and physical growth.
Check out more pictures and coverage from the event at the New Haven Independent:
…and on the Stratton Faxon Website: