Growing Healthy Kids

Welcome to Growing Healthy Kids, the gardening club where youth, school staff and community volunteers grow together!

Brockway Elementary School students really dig their garden.

Brockway Elementary School students really dig their garden.

Growing Healthy Kids has been a part of creating learning gardens and afterschool garden clubs at Brockway and McGovern Elementary schools along with the Winston Middle School, joining Lookingglass Elementary’s 20+ years garden program.  In 2014, Douglas High School saw the revitalization/expansion of their gardening program  become a reality – a newly fenced 60×120 garden site; and in 2015 a weekly after school garden group began to meet.  After school garden clubs provide a fantastic opportunity for kids K-18 (currently over 160 participants in the Winston Growing Healthy Kids program), and we aren’t talking just digging in the dirt!  Mentoring opportunities abound while working alongside youth. Children involved with gardens benefit educationally in areas of the sciences, math, engineering and social studies. Gardening also fosters a sense of well being. It teaches responsibility and community service with the added bonus of children who help grow their own food are more likely to make healthy eating choices and grow physically fit.

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Brockway students prepare the raised beds for planting. Kids love an excuse to get a little bit dirty!

We are so grateful to collaborate with the Winston-Dillard School District, along with local individuals and businesses that donate time, expertise and materials. The “growth” potential for a project like this is unlimited. We welcome your participation in this effort to grow a healthier community.

Teens from the G3 Garden Club sell their botanical bounty at the Garden Expo at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.

Teens from the G3 Garden Club sell their botanical bounty at the Garden Expo at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.

With a generous grant in 2016 from the Partners For A Hunger Free Oregon, we were able to turn a vacant, weedy, eye sore space next to the Teen Center in to a beautifully productive Teen Center Learning Garden.  The Teen Center Learning Garden is going strong and producing vegetables the kids are enjoying and expanding their repertoire of nutritional choices.  Every other week we select a different color of fruit/vegetables, prepare a tasting table, and youth learn what nutritional benefits that particular “color” has to offer.  Herbs & vegetables grown in the garden are also incorporated into our culinary skills program.  A special shout out to our local Winston Rainbow Garden Club for their generous support of our garden program!

To become involved in any of these community gardens, contact Paulette Roberts, Growing Healthy Kids coordinator, at 541-580-7336 or drop us an email at healthywinston@gmail.com.