One of our goals this year was to use the farm as an educational tool, educating the children of the community on the importance of growing and eating fresh food. I was connected with an amazing outreach program in Champaign called DREAAM House. DREAAM House stands for Driven to Reach Excellence and Academic Achievement for Males. It is a program that was developed in 2015 to encourage positive behavior and learning, keeping kids (pre-K to 7th grade) in school and on the right track.
We had the pleasure of hosting our first group this past Friday. There were 20 fourth and fifth grade boys. We did a farm activity identifying different crops then we all went to Hendrick House for lunch. It was so exciting and invigorating to watch these boys harvest and try different vegetables right from the farm.
I am trying to track their knowledge and exposure to fresh vegetables through surveys. After I ensured them that I was not giving them a test on their summer vacation they were more than happy to oblige. It was interesting to learn that a lot of their schools currently have gardens, which is really great. We have two more workshops scheduled with DREAAM House coming up next week and July 11. The next two will be 23 first and third graders. It should be very exciting and I have lots of fun things for them planned 🙂
***All photos compliments of Laura Graven, DREAAM House***