CitySprouts Pilots Service-Learning Curriculum
CitySprouts' summer interns have always worn a lot of hats: gardener, cook, farmer, and food pantry volunteer, just to name a few. Starting this summer, though, they added two more jobs to the list: ecologist and activist.
This summer's crew of middle-school interns participated in the launch of "Healthy Food + Healthy Ecosystem = Healthy Community," the new STEM and service-learning curriculum developed by CitySprouts that gives youth hands-on lessons in environmental science while at the same time encouraging them to serve their communities. The internships culminated in a service-learning project in which interns were tasked with using their newfound knowledge to solve a food-related problem in their own neighborhoods.
Interns at the Morse School were inspired to educate their neighbors about urban gardening. "The kids identified a lot of different issues," according to CitySprouts college fellow Alyssa Young, "but the thing that stood out was teaching people in the city how to garden, keeping in mind time and budget restraints."
The Morse interns decided to tackle the problem by creating a how-to pamphlet on urban gardening and distributing it throughout their communities. With the help of their CitySprouts college fellow, the middle-school interns researched a broad range of information on gardening and selected the information most important to their urban audience. The end product was a colorful pamphlet that tells Cambridge residents everything they need to know to start an edible garden of their own. After printing the pamphlet, Morse interns handed out copies to passersby at Dana Park and local businesses.