JUNE 20, 2018

Growing a Better Breakfast in Detroit

DETROIT, MI. “We discovered that there is not a place near us to get fresh fruits and vegetables,” reported fifth and sixth grade classes in Detroit, Michigan. “We saw that we eat unhealthy snacks, and that children in other countries eat similar things!”

Detroit planting strawberries.jpg

The students connected this insight to their final project for Global Scholars, a Community Action Project, which asked them to apply global lessons locally. They had been studying issues such as food waste and food deserts in cities around the world as part of the Feeding Our Cities curriculum. So they decided to turn a neglected courtyard into a community garden for their own school.

Their reward: fresh strawberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, and even maple syrup, with generous servings of self-efficacy, digital literacy, and global engagement on the side.

See what they have to say about the project, below. 

Our Twitter Series is following Global Scholars classes around the world as they launch Community Action Projects. Have a look! #GlobalScholarsTakeAction

Q&A with Global Scholars: detroit

Q. What did you set out to do and what did you do?
A. We wanted a garden that would have food that students would eat. We planted strawberries. We have one raised bed with tomatoes and cucumbers that we started from seeds indoors.
Q. What positive effects have you already seen from your community action project? 
A. We are excited to go outside and work! Even though we have only one garden bed in, the courtyard looks better because it is cleaned up and tilled. Other people in the school want to help (especially with the tiller), but they cannot! It is our project.
Q. What advice would you share with another class starting the same kind of project?
A. Doing a survey to see what people would eat, and then seeing if it would grow here was a big help. Look way in advance for a grant or do fundraisers to get money for your project. Make sure everyone knows the chores and has a tool so that no one is playing or not doing anything.

The students benefitted from local generosity, as Lowe’s donated five raised garden beds and a community member donated six maple tapping kits. (See video for details.)

Now the students look to the courtyard and see a world of possibility.

“Maybe next year we can plant a vegetable from another country. Instead of shipping food, we could get it right here,” said one student. Global knowledge, eco-friendly transportation, and a local food source, all in one good idea.  Well-done, Global Scholars.

giant thistle detroit.jpg

We pulled some giant weeds


Everyone loved the tiller

Detroit_tapping tree.jpg

Plot twist: maple syrup!