Today is Earth Day! Since 1970, people worldwide have gathered to demonstrate their support for environmental protection, and at SOS Children’s Villages Illinois, our love and support for the Earth lasts far beyond Earth Day. Our Health and Wellness program helps teach the children in our care how to tend to and care for the Earth through our Community Gardens. It is through this work that children in foster care get to explore creativity, much-needed time outdoors, and a therapeutic means of cultivating life.
Tending to Community Gardens Offers Calming Therapy for Children in Foster Care
The Community Gardens at SOS Illinois offer a unique type of therapy for the children in our care. By working outside, planting flowers and seeds, and caring for them as they grow, they’re able to see that with a little time, attention, and work, anything can truly blossom. The act of digging and planting is something the children at SOS Illinois enjoy greatly – especially when they get to use the wheelbarrows! Being involved in planting the first in-ground seeds of the season brings true joy to the children in our care, and it’s wonderful to watch as they care for their harvest as it grows.
Children are Thriving from Healthy, Homegrown Foods They Cultivated Themselves
Cultural traditions, food safety, and nutritional education are just a few of the ways we tie in the children’s efforts in the Community Gardens, and we’ve found that they are just as eager to learn about things like healthy soil, seed development, and plant families as they are to bring new plants to life. Our children in foster care get incredible enjoyment out of eating the fruits of their labor. From partaking in the raw vegetables they cultivated to prepping and cooking the others, they are able to feel a real sense of accomplishment in what they’ve created and fostered.
Extra Time Outdoors Brings Creativity and Livelihood to the Children in Our Care
The Community Gardens are a wonderful way to bring play, sensory, and STEM learning activities to children in foster care and get them outdoors. Children get to expand their creativity with fun projects like the creation of garden flags, painted signs, mobiles, insect rocks and more! Crafts in the garden are always a huge hit and provide an outlet for the children in our care to spend quality time really exploring their own creative ways.
Our children love and enjoy the opportunities provided to them through programs like the Community Gardens at SOS Children’s Villages Illinois, thanks in large part to our supporters and corporate partners, including our friends at Swissôtel. You can support the continuation of garden projects for children in foster care by going to our giving page and choosing the donation that fits best for you.