The Lesser Slave Watershed Council is expanding its outreach in an agricultural context within elementary schools this year as a Host Organization of the Little Green Thumbs program. Little Green Thumbs is an indoor classroom gardening program managed by Agriculture in the Classroom Saskatchewan (AITC SK) whose mission is to “engage, empower and support students with hands-on, cross-curricular, educational experiences by growing gardens in their own learning environments”.
In effort to expand the program in Alberta, where no Agriculture in the Classroom organization exists (as it does elsewhere in many parts of Canada), AITC SK partners with host organizations such as the LSWC to help deliver the program. In our first year we have 5 elementary school teachers in the watershed registered for the program.
An additional, but very important partnership for the Little Green Thumbs program exists in Alberta with the organization Agriculture for Life. Agriculture for Life brings together various industrial, government and non-profit sectors with farmers and ranchers to focus on educational programming to build the understanding of the significance of agriculture in communities and individuals. Agriculture for Life has stepped forward to fund the Little Green Thumbs program in Alberta, making it extremely feasible for host organizations to adopt and for teachers to incorporate into their classroom.
The Agriculture for Life founding members include Agrium Inc., ATCO Group, Rocky Mountain Equipment, UFA Co-operative Ltd., ATB Financial, Penn West and TransCanada Corporation. Contributing members include AdFarm and Glacier Media Group.
Through these partnerships the LSWC hopes to improve its credibility as a educational resource for local schools and further broaden the understanding of the importance of our watershed in our community’s youth. With predicted program success, the LSWC is hoping to expand the program in future years in the number of garden classrooms as well as to a high school curriculum level.
Stay tuned for more pictures of the first classroom gardens of 2014 as they continue to grow!
One of the Little Green Thumbs Grade 4 gardens at High Prairie Elementary School after transplanting their seedlings into the garden kits. Beans, lettuce, tomatoes, and basil are well on their way to big, healthy plants.
Check out the Little Green Thumbs website for more information or if you are interested in becoming a Little Green Thumbs teacher, Click Here to apply. Teachers are selected based on enthusiasm, commitment to the program, and how they plan to incorporate the indoor classroom garden into their teachings cross-curricular. All successful applicants will receive the necessary training for the program and its associated equipment prior to starting the program.
Check out this video Little Green Thumbs: Classroom Gardens to learn more about what its all about, or contact the LSWC’s Little Green Thumbs Coordinator, Kaylyn Jackson by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 780-523-9800.