Farm Day Field Trip

Posted April 7, 2016 at 5:33 pm by

TimDustrude-1

The whole group at the Head Start Farm Field Trip — Tim Dus­trude photo

San Juan Island preschool­ers in the head­start pro­gram got to spend time on a farm today for some hands-on edu­ca­tion (dis­guised as fun play­time). Rex and Lisa Guard opened their “Lazy G Ranch” fam­i­ly farm to wel­come the kids along with sev­er­al edu­ca­tion­al and com­mu­ni­ty groups.

Lisa and Rex Guard - Jennifer Rice photo

Lisa and Rex Guard — Jen­nifer Rice photo

The kids got to play on trac­tors, glue wool on sheep (no, not real sheep), plant seeds in lit­tle car­tons filled with dirt to take home, and just gen­er­al­ly run around and have a good time learn­ing about farms and agri­cul­ture. The event was brain­stormed and cre­at­ed by Dan­na Diaz, Jen­nifer Rice, Stephanie Pri­ma and Lisa Guard as a project for their Lead­er­ship San Juan Islands program.

Jennifer, Danna, Stephanie and Lisa - Tim Dustrude photo

Jen­nifer, Dan­na, Stephanie and Lisa — Tim Dus­trude photo

Every­thing came togeth­er for a great expe­ri­ence — lots of vol­un­teers and pro­grams, the weath­er was nice, and the kids were very engaged and into all the stuff pro­vid­ed for them. Click to read more about it and see a gallery of 30 images of hap­py kids hav­ing fun on a farm.

Melissa at the controls - Tim Dustrude photo

Melis­sa at the con­trols — Tim Dus­trude photo

Fol­low­ing is Stephanie Pri­ma’s write-up of what the event was all about: (pho­tos are below)

What: a Farm Day field trip for the Head Start chil­dren orga­nized by a small team from the cur­rent Lead­er­ship San Juan Islands cohort.

Why: In mod­ern soci­ety in gen­er­al, there is a ‘dis­con­nect’ between what we eat, and where our food comes from. Chil­dren may see pack­ages in the gro­cery store of meat and poul­try, pro­duce and fruits, but rarely do they have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to learn how the food in those pack­ages actu­al­ly came to exist.

We are now faced with increas­ing­ly dif­fi­cult food choic­es, high food costs, and are inun­dat­ed with mar­ket­ing of sug­ar-laden and unhealthy processed foods. It’s no won­der con­sumers have con­fu­sion about what are tru­ly healthy choic­es for our fam­i­lies. The Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion (CDC) report (http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/childhood.html) that 17% of chil­dren and ado­les­cents in the US are obese, with high preva­lence among low-income fam­i­lies. In addi­tion, the stag­ger­ing num­bers of peo­ple suf­fer­ing from food-relat­ed ill­ness­es has caused health care costs to skyrocket.

Good food, local­ly grown, is vital to healthy life, and edu­ca­tion is vital to a life with choic­es. With this field trip, chil­dren can have fun while learn­ing, and edu­cat­ing our youth not only helps kids make bet­ter food choic­es, but also keeps farm­ing alive.

Reach­ing out to young chil­dren is ful­fill­ing, and makes a sig­nif­i­cant impact on their lives as well as ours. It is easy to over­look this small group of Head Start chil­dren, but the orga­niz­ers of this event want them to know they are loved and cared about, and be pre­pared for a Healthy Start.

Who: The Lead­er­ship Team of

  • Dan­na Diaz, Super­in­ten­dent, San Juan Island School District
  • Lisa Guard, Co-own­er, Guard Farm
  • Stephanie Pri­ma, Infi­nite Body Joy­ful Joints™ instructor
  • Jen­nifer Fay Rice, Com­mu­ni­ty volunteer

Lead­er­ship San Juan Islands

Lead­er­ship San Juan Islands (LSJI) is a coun­ty­wide pro­gram to edu­cate and moti­vate com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers inter­est­ed in devel­op­ing their pro­fes­sion­al skills and in learn­ing more about issues affect­ing San Juan County.

Through a five-month long edu­ca­tion­al and expe­ri­en­tial pro­gram, the 20 par­tic­i­pants devel­op a trained net­work of peo­ple engaged in com­mu­ni­ty work. They may be future politi­cians, busi­ness lead­ers, agency heads, edu­ca­tors, board mem­bers, and vol­un­teers. Grad­u­ates have a long-stand­ing influ­ence, active­ly lead­ing the com­mu­ni­ty in posi­tions of respon­si­bil­i­ty in employ­ment, gov­ern­ment, non-prof­it enter­prise and com­mu­ni­ty action.

The major areas cov­ered in the train­ing pro­gram are:

  • State, coun­ty and munic­i­pal government
  • Nat­ur­al resources and land use planning
  • Eco­nom­ic development
  • Health, edu­ca­tion and social services
  • Arts, cul­ture and history

Addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion can be found here: http://lsji.org/

Head Start

Head Start pro­motes the school readi­ness of young chil­dren from low-income fam­i­lies. Fund­ing is pro­vid­ed by grants from the U.S. Depart­ment of Health and Human Ser­vices (HHS), Admin­is­tra­tion for Chil­dren and Fam­i­lies (ACF) and are admin­is­tered by the Office of Head Start (OHS).

Head Start pro­grams are designed to sup­port the com­pre­hen­sive devel­op­ment of low-income chil­dren, including:

  • Lan­guage and literacy
  • Cog­ni­tion and gen­er­al knowledge
  • Approach­es to learning
  • Phys­i­cal Devel­op­ment and health
  • Social and emo­tion­al development

Addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion on the nation­wide pro­gram can be found here: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ohs/about/head-start 

In Fri­day Har­bor there are approx­i­mate­ly 18 pre-school­ers in the Head Start Pro­gram, taught by Sarah Werling.

Skagit/Islands Head Start pro­vides a safe, healthy, nur­tur­ing envi­ron­ment so that each fam­i­ly, child, and staff mem­ber may reach their poten­tial with­in the com­mu­ni­ty. Addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion on the local pro­gram can be found here: (http://www.sihs.skagit.edu/default.asp).

San Juan Cen­ter Preschool Head Start
Fri­day Har­bor Elementary
97 Grover St.
Fri­day Har­bor, WA 98250
Sarah Werling
(360) 378‑6030
sarah [.] wer­ling [@] skagit.edu

Con­trib­u­tors:

Two Mas­ter Gar­den­ers orga­nized the produce/gardening sec­tion of the event, Glenn Hen­drick and Tan­ja Williamson.

The WSU Mas­ter Gar­den­er Pro­gram is a nation­al­ly rec­og­nized pro­gram that trains vol­un­teers to serve their com­mu­ni­ties through hor­ti­cul­tur­al edu­ca­tion and out­reach. Vol­un­teers receive train­ing, then pro­vide edu­ca­tion­al infor­ma­tion to the pub­lic in home and sub­sis­tence hor­ti­cul­ture includ­ing veg­etable and fruit gar­den­ing, lawn and land­scape main­te­nance, com­post­ing, native plants, plant prob­lem diag­no­sis, pest con­trol and many oth­er areas. Addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion can be found here: http://extension.wsu.edu/sanjuan/master-gardeners/

  • Aman­da Zee, of Sweet Earth Farm, pro­vid­ed pea seeds for the chil­dren to plant their own take-home project, and seedlings in var­i­ous stages of growth so the chil­dren could see what to expect.
  • Mar­ket Place/King’s Gro­cery pro­vid­ed ful­ly matured fruits and veg­eta­bles for the chil­dren to identify.
  • Spring Street School seniors Kayleen Rice, Kendra Islam, and Michael­la Ibam­basi par­tic­i­pat­ed as mon­i­tors through­out the event.
  • Can­dace Jagel, LSJI alum­nus, pro­vid­ed the goat milk­ing demo station
  • Derek Smith and the stu­dents at the S.T.E.M. Cen­ter devel­oped a pro­gram for their 3‑D print­ers to cre­ate sheep for the chil­dren to glue wool onto. 

Quo­ta­tions:

“Farm­ing is a labor of love and way of life; shar­ing it with oth­ers through ‘hands-on, learn­ing-by-doing, enrich­es all of our lives.” Lisa Guard

“It is crit­i­cal that we teach chil­dren about eat­ing healthy foods when they are young, so they will make bet­ter choic­es on their own as teens and adults. The lack of food edu­ca­tion leads to a reg­u­lar diet high in sug­ar and sat­u­rat­ed fats as teens, fol­lowed by obe­si­ty, high blood pres­sure, dia­betes, arthri­tis, asth­ma, and oth­er health prob­lems as adults.” Stephanie Prima

“Nel­son Man­dela said ‘Edu­ca­tion is the most pow­er­ful weapon which you can use to change the world.’ and for 4‑year-olds it looks like play­ing!” Jen­nifer Rice

*  *  *

Click any pho­to below to enlarge. Pho­tos by Jen­nifer Rice, Rex Guard and Tim Dustrude

 

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2 comments...

  1. I was so hap­py I got to attend with my daughter.

    Comment by Gabrielle on April 8, 2016 at 10:04 am
  2. Great event of learn­ing Rex and Lisa. Thank You

    Comment by Steve McMurtrie on April 9, 2016 at 6:38 am

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