We believe that our kids deserve to have places to be after school, in the evenings, and during school breaks that are safe, fun, educational, and welcoming. This summer, our Duggan, Sakaw, and Steinhauer Clubs have demonstrated not only pride in their Clubs but also in their community. Their approach? Planting gardens!
The idea of gardening took root in 2012-13 after Club staff had conversations about ways we could engage our kids in different seasonal activities. Kids at our Tweddle Club first tried to grow some indoor plants and later with a donation of flowers from Spruce Avenue school they planted a few outdoor flowers. When a community member donated perennials and his expertise, the kids learned how to take care of their new plants. Since then, the kids have all been taking turns in different roles caring for the little garden. This summer it’s still alive and beautiful.
“We want the kids and the community to know we care about our Clubs,” says Sentsetsa Pilane, Community Programs Supervisor of the South Area.
So this summer, inspired by Tweddle’s flourishing space, our other South-side Clubs have been working with their volunteers, kids, and communities, to bring their own gardens to life.
Staff at Sakaw worked and planned a garden with their co-tenants. The kids planted some seeds in early May and the co-tenants donated the rest of the flowers. To get the community engaged, the Club hosted a barbeque and invited the Club kids and their parents to come mingle and help with the garden. The afternoon resulted in adults tilling and preparing the flower bed so the kids could do the planting.
At Steinhauer, the garden was started with the help of community members who provided the soil, the landscaping cloth, and the physical support to construct the flower bed. Some plants and a few extra bags of soil were donated by a local superstore and the rest given through membership in the local community gardening program. The garden at Duggan was tilled and planted by staff and volunteer. The kids and community members continue to lend their hands to help maintain the beautiful space.
This is just one way we are working with our local communities to ensure kids and families feel connected and have great opportunities to learn and grow together. If you get a chance, feel free to stop by admire the gardens and maybe even lend a helping hand. Our Clubs belong to our community and we thank you all for your generous support.