Girard Head Begin and Early Studying Middle college students gardening

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Many children love to play in the dirt. Now the students at the Girard Head Start Center and the Girard Early Learning Center are learning how to grow food in a playful way.

Earlier this year, the program was awarded the Gro More Good Garden Grant through a partnership between the National Head Start Association and the Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation, said Cynthia Rowe, assistant director of early childhood education.

More help came in the form of a $ 500 Home Depot gift card and a $ 350 garden.com gift card, said Cody Blair, Girard Head Start Center director and gardening project manager.

Since the project was starting from scratch and most of the staff had no gardening experience, the group decided to keep it simple for now, Blair said. They could buy three raised bed boxes, have some soil delivered, and buy some plants. On June 4th, the students started filling the boxes and planting the plants in the ground.

After the garden begins to give way, the kids can taste what they’ve grown and maybe they can take something home with them, Blair said.

Though Head Start doesn’t have a summer school program this year, some groups working with families meet on Matchdays at Girard grounds so families come and go.

The students have their own garden shed, in which children’s tools are stored. When the products hit the market, cooking classes are planned to help families use the products.

“It’ll be open to them whenever they’re in the playground,” Blair said.