Growing a Greener Tomorrow: The Kids Growing City StoryOct 03, 2023
In 2013, a small seed of an idea was planted, one that would grow into something remarkable. That seed was Kids Growing City, an organization dedicated to teaching the next generation how to work with nature and grow their own food gardens.
From Software Developer to Permaculture Advocate
Before the inception of Kids Growing City, I was a software developer for 15 years. But in 2010, as I was scrolling through Facebook one night, something extraordinary happened. A video featuring Bill Mollison discussing Permaculture caught my eye. While I was on maternity leave, caring for my newborn baby girl, the video showed me a world of possibilities. It demonstrated how we could grow food using Permaculture techniques that worked in harmony with nature. The idea of making a positive impact by growing food in my backyard began to take root.
At that time, my older daughter was 7 years old, and it struck me that she wasn't learning how to grow food at school. I realized that my generation and the ones before us had missed out on this vital life skill. So, I embarked on a mission to bring this knowledge back into the education system. My journey started small, with an after-school extracurricular program at my older daughter's private school, and it gradually expanded into public schools, becoming an in-school program integrated into the curriculum.
The Birth of Kids Growing City
In 2014, I made a life-changing decision. I left my software development job to dedicate myself entirely to this cause. I wrote, tested, and refined a 10-week Lesson Plan collection that I personally taught in our programs. As demand grew, I began hiring and training facilitators to extend our reach into various public and private schools.
Only in 2018-2019 school year, we successfully helped build 15 school gardens, each brimming with life and educational potential.
Pivoting During the Pandemic
Then came the unforeseen challenge of the pandemic in 2020. As schools closed their doors, our access to classrooms became limited. I had to make the difficult decision to let go of my facilitators. But in adversity, we found opportunity. We pivoted and launched the Oasis Box, a subscription box that allowed parents to grow food with their kids at home. Simultaneously, we transformed our school gardening program into an online resource, allowing classroom teachers to run it remotely. This marked the birth of the Oasis School Program series, now a valuable resource for educators.
The Oasis Box has touched the lives of hundreds of families, fostering quality time spent together while growing impactful food gardens at home. Our Oasis School Programs have reached thousands of students and hundreds of teachers, enabling them to cultivate classroom gardens. In 2022, a remarkable success story unfolded as one teacher in our Oasis Classroom program grew over 800 seedlings, raising funds for their grade 8 graduation trip, surpassing the school's expectations and more and more success stories are created every day!
Kids Growing City's programs have become the go-to resources for teachers dedicated to integrating hands-on gardening and modern learning into their classrooms. Our mission has empowered countless families, creating a positive ripple effect throughout communities.
A Growing Future
Looking ahead to 2024, our vision is to reach even more families with the Oasis Box project and engage at least 1000 additional teachers with our Oasis School Programs. We're excited to welcome new members into the Oasis Box club every month and introduce the Oasis Teachers Membership program. This program will assist teachers in nurturing small but impactful food projects in their classrooms throughout the school year.
Are you ready to be a part of our growing community?
If you are a parent, grandparent, auntie or uncle, and especially if you are a homeschooler and are looking for bringing this life skill to your home and the homes of your loved ones, to join the Oasis Box subscription (or at least its wait list), visit Oasis Box.
If you're a teacher looking to enhance your classroom experience, explore our Oasis Teachers Membership at Kids Growing City.
Join us on this incredible journey of growth and sustainability. Together, we're cultivating a greener tomorrow, one kids' garden at a time, with ease and fun!