President's Project 2015-17: Encouraging Future Gardeners

 
CGCI Chairman:  Sue Bennett

The Project 

 

"Encouraging Future Gardeners"

CGCI has been supporting youth gardening groups in California since 1931 and the goals and development are consistent with those of National Garden Clubs.
The goal of this project is to
Promote CGCI
Supply children with “gardening kits” designed to spark an interest in plants and inspire them to embark on a lifelong adventure in gardening.
To have the family work together.  If an adult helps the child and reads about CGCI they become aware of CGCI and the joys and wonder that gardening and garden clubs can bring into their lives.
A letter promoting CGCI and an order form will be sent to established youth organizations such as 4-H groups, Future Farmers of America (FFA), Scouts, Camp Fire, after school programs, Community Gardens and CGCI youth groups.
The project has been optimized by including the following options that can be ordered by the sponsoring group:
Herbs Kit.  Includes seeds for planting herbs, a 1/2 gallon fabric Geo Pot, planting guide, colorful 5”x 7” nutrition information cards, information about CGCI and ideas for creating recycled planting containers. Herbs are easy to replant into appropriate containers for kitchens or outdoors. Everything is wrapped up and ready to be used to start an indoor herb garden at home.
Green Machine Kit. Includes a variety of lettuce/greens seeds, a 1 gallon fabric Geo Pot, planting guide, colorful 5”x 7” nutrition information cards, information about CGCI and ideas for creating recycled planting containers.  Everything is wrapped up and ready to be used to start an indoor fresh salad garden at home.
Watch-Us-Grow Kit.  (appropriate for preschoolers and kindergarten) Includes bean seeds (Fabraceae family) and radish seeds (Brassicaceae family) that make up two separate projects; one to create a “bean necklace” and one to make a “Magic Sprout Box.”  The kit also includes 5”x 7” information cards, information about CGCI and ideas for creating recycled planting containers.  Everything is wrapped up and ready to be used for 3+ year olds to watch the seed sprout.
Plant a Rainbow Kit. Includes the following seeds - Beets, Broccoli and Carrots; this does not come with a pot as these seeds are meant to be grown in a bigger area and don’t like to be transplanted.  Illustrated planting guide, colorful 5”x 7” nutrition information cards, information about CGCI and ideas for creating recycled planting containers. Everything is wrapped up and ready to be used to start a fresh vegetable garden at home.   
In support of the 2015-2017 NGC President’s Special 2-Year Project, “Service in Action”, which is intended to increase awareness of the seriousness of the demise of pollinators and amphibians and encourage conservation and protection efforts by clubs, the general public and governmental agencies.– we are able to offer the following
Pollinator Paradise Kit: Includes “Seeds for Butterflies,” or “Seeds for Pollinators”.  Information about CGCI and ideas for creating recycled planting containers. An illustrated information/instruction leaflet, pollinator masks and an assortment of colorful 5”x 7” information cards all wrapped up and ready to be used to create an outdoor garden that fosters pollinator habitat.
If you know of a group that would be interested, please forward their name to the CGCI Youth Chairman or have them fill out the Order Form and send it in.
 

Project Update

February 2016:
The President’s Project has hit its stride. Almost 1,000 kits have been distributed since the project started. The program is designed to dispense a minimum of 14,000 kits throughout the state by end of June 2017. Due to the demand, effective March 1, 2016, we have put in place the following:
The goal for the allocation of free kits around the state is determined by the size of the district.
Each organization/school (organization can be a club, master gardener, etc.) can request up to 35 FREE kits.
After that we would appreciate a donation of $1 per kit to help us underwrite the cost --shipping cost donations are ALWAYS appreciated!  (The number “35” was reached by determining the average size of CGCI youth garden groups.)
If more kits are needed, and if there is sufficient funding, exceptions can be made. Exceptions will be made based on how the kits will be used and at the discretion of the President’s Project Committee. We are trying to reach as many children as possible. Please remember only one kit per child per year.
There are five different types of kits. Each kit comes with instructions.  Ideas for distributing kits.
  • Find out if your local library or book store has a reading hour with kids. See how the kits can be integrated into the reading hour; such as a discussion on good bugs in the garden and then request the appropriate number of Pollinator Paradise kits.
  • Check out your local Community or Public Gardens to see if they can integrate the kits into a workshop or open house program.  A good kit here would be Plant a Rainbow Kit; where kids plant carrots, broccoli and beets.
  • Work with your local day care centers explaining Educating Future Gardeners and let them know you would be excited to work with them.  Leave an order form/donation form in case the owner would like to place an order.
  • Work with your local church with Sunday School.  Ask them to integrate the kit into their program. Bring one of each kit for a “show and tell” along with an order form/donation form in case the teacher would like to place an order. 
  • Same goes for after school programs.
     The kits are not intended to be a mass hand-out at schools.  We have found that handing out “FREE” kits has not proven to be the best way to make the kits useful. Things obtained for free, (especially “handed out" at schools) are perceived to have little value and end up sitting around in back packs and then thrown away. We find it much better to make the kits “special” --- by making them special rewards for kids who might, for example, work hard at a garden that day…. make a great observation or participate well in some activity. Otherwise, the kits need to be introduced by a garden club member.
     The kits are appropriate for different ages and abilities. For example, the “Watch Us Grow” kit is only appropriate for kids in pre-school and up to about age 5. We prefer that one kit be given per child so we know how many children we reach. It is not meant to give five kits to one child.  If you know someone in Girl/Boy Scouts, 4H, or other youth group...give them one.  Better yet, ask for the name of their leader and talk with them about the kits to see which  one can be incorporated into an activity.
     Kits are being requested by non-CGCI groups, so the word is getting out. However, priority is given to those who make a donation! Don’t hesitate to contact President SueB or Maryanne if you have any questions. Three of the five kits are shown in the picture.  Whereever you take a kit, make sure your garden club and CGCI gets credit for this effort.  Order Form and Donation Forms can be found under the Forms Tab.

Forms & Donations