CPS Opportunity Grant Winner Launched The “Grow Your Own” Program

The “Grow Your Own” program services about 20 students daily after school. More information about the program, including testimonials and its impact are below:
“Thanks to your generous donation, we’ve launched an after-school program called ‘Grow Your Own.’ At ‘Grow Your Own,’ our aim is to foster a community of empowered individuals who not only cultivate their own food, but also nurture personal growth, resilience, and empathy through gardening. Our goal is to create a supportive environment where students can develop crucial life skills, forge a profound bond with nature, and make positive contributions to their local community.”
“At the core of ‘Grow Your Own’ is a dedication to social-emotional learning (SEL). Through hands-on gardening experiences, students cultivate self-awareness as they witness the growth of plants and reflect on their own personal development. They hone self-management skills by planning and tending to their garden plots, fostering resilience when encountering challenges like pest invasions or unfavorable weather conditions. Moreover, students nurture social awareness through collaborative work with peers, recognizing the interconnectedness of ecosystems, and empathizing with the needs of plants and other living beings. By engaging in ‘Grow Your Own,’ students not only cultivate their own food but also flourish as individuals, equipped with the SEL competencies necessary to thrive in all aspects of life.”
“Thanks to your donation of the hydroponics system, we’ve been able to extend the growing season in Chicago, enabling us to involve students year-round. This system also contributes to the sustainability of the garden, as students can cultivate their plants indoors during times when outdoor growth would otherwise be challenging or impossible.”
Here is a link to an episode of a student-produced podcast featuring interviews with the adult sponsors of the “Grow Your Own” program.
Learn more about the Community Service Committee’s CPS Opportunity Grant program here.