New Garden Classes at the YMCA

By: Chanel Copeland
Location: Chicago, IL


Cross-posted from

Hi my name is Chanel and I work for the Chicago Summer of Solutions. I began working with them through YEP (Youth Employment Program). I really enjoy working with Summer of Solutions because it’s showed me a lot of things I didn’t know. I’m still open minded to know more but from what I have done so far it has been the best experience. I signed up to work with Children’s Garden at The United Church of Rogers Park. However, we recently began new garden classes at the Westwood Manor nursing home where we run a greenhouse. We teach the kids from the YMCA Summer Camp next door about gardening so they will start their own garden with their families.

ImageRight now we teach classes three days aweek. All in all we are teaching 80 children through this new partnership! We even expanded our garden classes so now we teach 3 to 5 year olds from the YMCA.

My experience with the program so far is that it’s been great getting to know the kids and learning what they already know about fruits and vegetables. For me, Its really and truly a great thing to say that I taught them something. This has been my first time even being a teacher of any kind of sorts and I feel good about it.

I can honestly say that we’ve taught them a bunch of things such as how to make seed bombs from clay and compost, how to draw fruits and vegetables, we have been playing games such as Monarch. When we played Monarch most of them already knew about butterflies and they taught me thing’s that I didn’t even know. The crazy thing about the whole thing is that it’s only our 2nd week of gardening class and we only have 2 weeks left.


In the following weeks left of the classes I’m excited to ask the kids what have they learned from the entire experience because I know that some of them have come a long way in learning where the food on their plates come from.

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