Malcolm Camille

Our community based garden taught me an incredible amount of skill that will make me a better student and member of the community.

Hello my name is Malcolm Camille.  I’m a fifth grader at Prospect

Learning Center and I’m going to tell you about our unique nutritious school garden.  At our school we have an awesome afterschool program that has partnered with an agency called Kid Power.  The director, Mr. D. taught us everything we know about taking care of our school garden.  Our garden looks like a delicious land of delicate fruits and vegetables.  I call them delicate because Mr. D. makes us treat our garden just like we treat each other.  The garden makes me so proud to be a part of Prospect and a community of people who want to help others keep the earth and people healthy.

The garden did a lot for me.  One important thing is that when I work in the garden I feel so relaxed.  It’s like a world of my own, a dream of peace and quiet, I sometimes even dream about the garden and the fruits and vegetables speak to me.  I love the way the flowers smell around me, the fiery smell of peppers, the juicy sweet smell of apples that grow so extraordinarily red and tasty.  Next it’s important to know that we share our produce from the garden with our families.  I am able to help cook some food with my dad.  We made chicken and rice, stew and pasta, also a fruit salad that was delicious.

Mr. D. taught us how to use garden tools such as shovels, hammers and even a pick axe. These tools help us preserve our garden and keep it well-fit.

We planted strawberries--they were very mouth-watering.  We made sauce with the Mexican hot peppers.  We also planted zucchini, okra, green peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, sugar snap peas, carrots, radishes, beets and the list goes on.  We learned how to grow an apple tree at the Sasha Bruce house.  We learned what to do, how to do it.

The garden made us smart.  We were able to learn stuff that we did not even know about before.  For example, I never knew that if you cut the lettuce from a certain position it would grow back or that an apple tree can last for three years.  Guess who taught me that?  Mr. D.  If it wasn’t for him I would not know any of those great things about taking care of our garden.

The plants look like windows and the flowers are a unique beauty.

We even raised money for the Children’s Hospital Center by giving vegetables to our community neighbors.  The elderly also received money from our sales.  Students ran the garden sale and did all the advertisement, creating relationships where the students communicated about garden topics with older people.  With the hard work of the students and staff, we had lots of fun working in the garden affecting each other and the people throughout the community.

In conclusion, our community based garden taught me an incredible amount of skill that will make me a better student and member of the community.

America's Afterschool Storybook tells the stories of people and communities transformed by afterschool programs.

The Afterschool Alliance launched the Storybook to help commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers, the only federal initiative dedicated to supporting community afterschool programs.

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