2012 08 03 2 come grow with us policy letter encl 1
1. “Come Grow with Us” Garden Initiative
In conjunction with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Campaign, the “Come Grow with
Us” garden initiative is designed to promote the use of gardens that will support lifelong effects
of healthy eating among military children, youth, and their family’s world-wide. The benefit of
choosing fruits and vegetables, limiting less sugar intake, and minimizing portions along with
physical activities will lessen the likelihood of childhood obesity.
Step 1: Learn the Facts- Training and Curriculum Specialist shall provide resources in
support of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let's Move (click the link for more details) campaign, to
promote the fight against childhood obesity. CYP programs play a key role in fostering
environments that support healthy choices. Gardens offer opportunities for fun and physical
activity while also serving as an important educational tool. Gardens increase knowledge of
fruits and vegetables and help children understand how healthy food is produced and where it
comes from. Get the team involved in supporting the “Let’s Move” campaign!
Step2: Develop a Community Involvement Team – CYP Directors can include
parents and staff by introducing the “Come Grow with Us” garden initiative in the next monthly
newsletter or at the next Parent Involvement Board (PIB) meeting. This should include ideas
which promote the benefits of fresh vegetables and fruits and the impact this has on creating and
sustaining a healthy lifestyle. Create a volunteer sign-up list which identifies jobs associated to
gardening task and get parents involved. It takes a team to weed, water, and harvest fruits and
vegetables in a CYP community garden.
Step 3: Invite guest speakers from the community- Contact the Cooperative
Extension Service (4-H) for guidance, support, and educational materials. 4-H has an abundance
of curriculum ideas focused around this initiative and the aspects of starting up a garden. CDC
programs can coordinate with the SAC program and invite “club” members to assist preschool
children in developing and sustaining their CDC community garden. Other community options
2. include local gardening clubs, college fraternity and sorority associations, and high school
groups. Further, an invitation to your local Agricultural Department is also a great tool in
assisting with resources on caring for gardens. These guest speakers can provide the program
with educational tools and valuable information about growing a healthy garden.
Step 4: Develop a Plan - Engage parents, staff and children from the CDC and SAC
program in the planning process for the garden project. The plan should include a timeline, list
of necessary tools and supplies, a designated planting area, the garden layout, and selected
vegetables and fruits for planting. Lastly, the plan should also include task and assigned
responsibilities associated with maintaining the garden.
Step 5: Include this in Curriculum Planning- Incorporate gardens into curriculum
planning (i.e. science, cooking) to provide children with hands on, multi disciplinary, learning
activities. This helps to extend learning through a wide range of skill sets, a few are highlighted
• Art- Get out the camera and start photographing the many stages of development.
• Etiquette- Learn where to walk and what to pick.
• Exercise- Stooping, stretching and toting strengthen muscles.
• Language- Can they write a story about the garden, read the seed packets?
• Math- How many plants can grow in a row? What distance should they be placed?
• Nutrition- What is the most nutritious vegetable, what makes a strawberry so tasty?
• Science- Why do some plants love the sun and others need shade?
• Social Skills- Taking turns, cooperating and accepting responsibility can be fun while
getting your hands dirty.
Step 6: Prepare a Budget – Create an expense spreadsheet of the list of tools and
supplies needed for the garden project. Incorporate comparison pricing to include the local
hardware store, home improvement, and feed/seed stores along with farmers markets and/or
other places where gardening products are sold. Include SAC and Youth “club” members in
preparing the budget, a great activity on financial awareness and project planning. CY programs
should follow local procurement processes established at installations.
Step 7: Developing an after action Report- Upon completion of the “Come Grow
With Us” garden initiative, all participating CY programs must submit documentation to the
CNIC (N911) POC. Documentation should include brochures or flyers used to inform families
about offering healthier food options and photos from the garden project. Programs can submit
an After Action Report through one of the following venues: Scrapbook, Video Diary, and