This program was aimed at promoting food security and combining socioemotional learning with gardening activities to reduce violent behaviors, while encouraging teamwork and inclusion. LGEG is a research-based curriculum of the International Junior Master Gardener Program.
The objective of this program was to work with kids to promote gender inclusion and discuss how to identify and cope with violent behaviors such as bullying by discussing such issues with teachers and parents. The program combined gardening, nutrient-dense food experiences, and physical activity. During our initial workshops in Guatemala, kids learned through fun and interactive games and activities about parts of the plant, how to prepare healthy recipes using fruits and vegetables, how to establish a school garden, and the importance of being active and using exercise to relieve stress that might otherwise lead to violent behavior.
The 2017 Pilot Program in Guatemala included the following activities:
- Gardening and nutrition workshop for kids focusing on establishing a vegetable garden; exercises and garden yoga to relieve stress; parts of the plant; fresh food tastings/demonstrations;
- Interactive sessions with Junior High students focusing on parts of the plant, recycling, and English names of fruits and vegetables and visits to home gardens tended by youth;
- Excercise sessions, focusing on stretching exercises to release stress.
- Two gardening, nutrition, and exercise fairs focusing on fresh recipes from the garden; nutrition concepts; exercising to relieve stress and promote inclusion of girls in sports; discussions on teamwork, plus book reading on inclusion.
- Three train-the-trainer sessions with adult volunteers that helped implement the children’s’ workshops.
Other Youth Programs in Latin America and Caribbean