In collaboration with Landscaping, Mbe has established a new teaching garden program at the Embe Avera South Kindergarten in Sioux Falls.
EmBe Child Care Teachers, Volunteers and Children worked together Thursday morning to build nine garden beds outside the center.
They used shovels, buckets, and wheels to move the soil and fertilizer. According to Liz Mosse and Deberg, Director of Child Care and School Age Care, some children have never used a shovel and have had fun before.
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“Most of them have never put their hands in a shovel,” she said. “And they’re just exploding.”
Nutrition-based Curriculum and Land Partnership Partnership
EmBe Kindergarten is trying to focus more on nutrition, which includes reducing the intake of processed foods and adding more fresh fruits and vegetables, providing fresh fruit and vegetables to children and providing locally sourced meat.
When Moses and Deberg started working in Embe six months ago, she wanted to see if she could do something with the food in the green space in front of the building.
“I started looking around for something that could help our vision, and I met Cindy with Ground Works,” said Moses and Deberg.
Ground Works is a nonprofit that has established more than 20 educational gardening programs, including Howard Elementary, Sixty Lutheran Lutheran School and Ben Rifle Middle School.
They provide flooring, build bedding, create installation themes, and provide curriculum and leadership support.
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First Race Excavator also donated the soil, and the fertilizer was donated by Sioux City, and Mbe paid for the construction of the bed only.
Every year, three Curriculum Coordinators from Earthworks work with EmBe-led teachers to develop curriculum plans and instruct students on their own rotations.
The classroom features weekly lesson plans that revolve around six themes: salsa, cauliflower, spring salad bar, autumn vegetables, desserts, stone soup and underground secrets.
Each theme has its own raised garden bed. There are also two small garden beds and one small bed for children under kindergarten to dig and play.
Encourage children to grow and learn.
“My favorite part of this is the kids,” says Cindy Hydeberberger of Ground Works, “to see the wonderful and the joy in it and to expose what is not exposed.
Maya Rood, a fifth-grader at Sonia Sodomayer Elementary School, said she was thrilled to be planting vegetables for the first time.
“It’s great to start with,” she says as she uses a mixer to mix compost and soil on one bed. “I hope we plant carrots. I like carrots. “
In the fall, Zoe Weber, a fourth-grader at Petgry Elementary School, looks forward to the flower bed.
“I’m sure we can put a lot of flowers in it,” she said. Weber said she and her two sisters are on EmBe programs.
EmBe serves more than 880 children in Sixty Falls and Mitchell. Avera South Center offers child care from 4 weeks through preschool, and EmBe after-school and summer programs support all elementary schools.
“It’s amazing to see the power of communication,” says Kyle Tile, a Ground Works expert. “And when everything is together, we have a good chance of inspiring children to continue learning about their food.”