Southampton Garden ClubThis school year, Fit4Kids is thrilled to be partnering with Southampton Elementary School in Richmond and Master Gardener volunteers for a weekly after-school garden club. Since last October, the club has been engaging around ten 4th and 5th grade students in gardening activities every Monday afternoon, rain or shine! We are looking for more volunteers to help with afterschool garden clubs.

The clubs are led by Fit4Kids garden educators with assistance from a dedicated group of Master Gardener volunteers. Southampton offers wonderful opportunities for hands-on fun in the garden- the native plant garden, butterfly garden and several raised beds at the school have provided numerous opportunities for learning about nature, nutrition, and what is needed to get a garden planted and producing delicious veggies.

So what does a typical day at garden club look like? Each club begins with a few garden chores including watering the plants using water from the rain barrel, turning compost, filling bird feeders and performing various garden tasks.  A Fit4Kids garden educator then leads the kids in an activity that incorporates some aspect of gardening. Last year, the garden club planted veggies and herbs, prepped the garden for winter, and even did some garden yoga! In addition, the wonderful Master Gardener volunteers taught the students how to make compost and rain barrels, led them on a hike in the woods, and worked with them to create beautiful holiday arrangements.

School-based garden clubs are a great way get students, teachers and volunteers involved in gardening activities at the school.  The Southampton garden club volunteers have taken on garden duties, facilitated activities, and provided support to the kids and educators during the club. A garden work day scheduled for this March will engage a number of other volunteers including parents and community members.

We’re excited to see this program grow and look forward to expanding these afterschool garden clubs to additional schools in the community. If you are interested in volunteering with the Southampton Garden Club or future garden club opportunities, please contact Fit4Kids volunteer coordinator Kayla Dransfield at kayla@grfit.kids.org.

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