Rewarding results from the first activity with the children
A few days ago we were talking here about the start of a project with the school of the nearby community of Las Delicias. We are gladly surprised with the results of the first activity that we did with the children of the school. This activity was about the spinach and its properties, and we designed it with the aim of introducing the habit of eating green vegetables, something that unfortunately it is not very common in Costa Rica. At the end of the activity the children were offered healthy treats made with spinach and they were asked to prepare an assignment for a competition. We did the activity with some of the groups last week and the rest of the groups came yesterday to do exactly the same thing. If you want to know more about this activity, please click here to read the corresponding article.
The first results came when some children dropped in on here two days after the activity to ask us for spinach seedlings to plant them at home. Furthermore, when we went to the school to give them the yoga class, one of the teacher asked us to help them to create a school garden that could provide with vegetables for school lunches. The motivation that both children and teacher showed us is a clear sign that we are in the right path in our work with the local community.
Yesterday two children and their teacher came to deliver the assignments so we could choose the winner of the competition. All the assignments included a description of the spinach and their nutritional properties, and some recipes that include spinachs among their ingredients. Everything was presented in a very neat, colourful and informative way. One of the students went even further preparing three meals with spinachs: salad, rice and ice-cream. This was more than we expected and it was obvious that they put lot of effort in preparing this assignment.
It was difficult to choose a winner so we decided that two teams were going to have the first prize, which was to go to the top of the tree-house that is in the property and plant some seeds in the nursery. However, all the children were going to receive treats as presents for their effort, and that was a spinach brownie and some fruit crackers that we make for the market. We were very excited about announcing the winners and delivering the prizes.
This morning the children who did the activity last week came to the farm. We put all their assignments on the wall of our kitchen and they stood next to their one for a photo. They were invited to do a presentation of their assignment for all their classmates and for us, and we asked them about what they learned about the spinach. Then we announced the winners and we told them what the prizes were. Next we went to the tree-house for the first prize: go to the top of it. Besides the two winner teams, another team who did a good oral presentation of their assignment was allowed to go to the top of the tree-house. They enjoyed very much visiting this amazing house in the tree.
The second prize was to make a seedbed with Julito, one of the workers of the farm, in the nursery. This time, only the two winner teams were allowed to participate in this activity. They did the whole process of creating the seedbed, from the first step, and Julito encouraged them to come back every week to check their plants and look after them. When the seedlings are big enough, these kids will transplant them into the garden. However, in the next future all the children of the school will be able to learn this kind of tasks in the school garden that will be created. Finally, we delivered the last prize, the healthy treats, to the all the children before they went back to the school.
In two weeks we will give the prizes to the groups that came yesterday for the activity (due to the Easter holidays is not possible to do it next week). Then we have to start planning for our next challenge, the creation of a school garden with the help of Julito and the volunteers, making all students and teachers part of it. We hope to start this garden in May, when the first rains come, and for sure we will keep update at every step of the process. We are very excited with this long-term project that will strenght our link to the local community, besides incorporating a new role for the farm, education, which we believes it is very important if we want to achieve real changes.