Practicing Green Heart Gratitude
In their Green Heart gardens, our students learn to grow, harvest, prepare, and eat fruits and vegetables. Acquiring these “hard skills” is important, as it helps to build confidence, knowledge, and awareness around their own health and the health of the environment. At the same time, our students are learning much more than “hard skills” in the garden. They are also learning “soft skills” necessary for achieving success inside and out of the classroom. Each Green Heart lesson reinforces one of eight character traits essential for achieving success in and out of the classroom, using a model we borrow from our partner school, Meeting Street Academy. The traits are:
Grit Gratitude Optimism Empathy
Citizenship Integrity Self–control Curiosity
Recently, across all of our programs, we practiced GRATITUDE in a culinary lesson featuring the Three Sister crops of corn, beans, and squash. We thanked last year’s students for planting the crops that we harvested and ate, and we thanked the generations who have cultivated corns, beans, and squash on this land for thousands of years before us.
During the holidays, many of us spend joyous time among family and friends. Yet, for some of us, the holidays can bring feelings of mourning for lost loved ones or anxiety over our never-ending “to-do” lists. No matter our circumstances, practicing GRATITUDE for the food that sustains us and for the people in our lives who care for us, can help to keep us and those around us grounded and in a positive frame of mind.
This month, we want to show big #greenheartgratitude for the thousands of people in the Green Heart family in Charleston and beyond, who contribute to making the Green Heart Project possible. Gratitude for our 1,200 students and their families who are the center of our work. Gratitude for over 400 volunteers who mentor students, build garden beds, dig rows, pull weeds, and represent us at events. Gratitude for our school and program partners working with us towards our shared goal of educating the next generation. And gratitude for our donors and sponsors who contribute in-kind and financially to help Green Heart keep growing. This week, we want to thank ALL of you from the bottom of our big Green Hearts for helping us pursue our mission of growing minds and cultivating community across Charleston.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours,