Global Roots aims to aid children everywhere. And we mean everywhere! That includes our own backyard.
Too often when we think of global children’s aid, we automatically think about the disadvantaged children in developing countries. And those children absolutely need our help. But so do our own.
American children have a great many advantages but given the cutbacks in education services and healthcare here in the USA, there are more obstacles than ever before.
Our school systems are struggling to find the right stride. Approaches to curriculum vary on a regular basis. Child obesity has more than tripled since the 1970s. And more than a third of our children have been bullied!
So Global Roots has brought our signature Children’s Garden solution home. At James John Elementary School in Portland, Oregon, we worked with the Kitchen Garden Laboratory (a USA charity led by former White House chef Bill Yosses) to launch a successful food education program.
We constructed a greenhouse garden and conducted after-school education classes. Elementary students participated in maintaining the garden and harvesting the produce.
Our USA Children’s Garden program doesn’t stop when they leave the greenhouse. As part of this project, students have the opportunity at least twice a week to participate in lunchtime programs.
During these programs, students interacted with each other and with mentoring adults to explore the produce grown in our gardens. Our students learned the science and nutrition of these products, as well as how they might be incorporated into a healthy life. Further, as these programs are supervised by trained social workers, reduced opportunities for bullying and encouraged healthier child interactions.
Our gardens are always a place of emotional peace!
USA Children’s Gardens is an elective program available to any student in the schools where we work. Interested students engage in an “Entry Interview” with our program social workers.
Through this interview we hope to identify students who have additional social needs, either as a bully or as a bullied student. Our goal is to see a 50% reduction in incidents of bullying over the academic year.
A fantastic corporate philanthropic foundation may partner with us to launch a “food security” program for low income families in 2018.
We intend to build and maintain giant greenhouses where underprivileged children will spend time after school and then take bags of groceries and easy recipes home to their families.