Green Thumbs Growing Kids (GTGK) is a local charity actively creating and managing school gardens
in this community in order to connect children to food and their environment. Gardens at Sprucecourt Jr. PS, Winchester Jr. & Sr. PS and Rose Avenue PS are managed by Green Thumbs. We also support gardening projects at Nelson Mandela Park PS. No funding is received from the Toronto District School Board so GTGK depends on funding from members of the community and friends of the gardens.
Our mission is to cultivate environmental stewardship through hands on garden and food education for urban children and their communities.
Our elementary school programs operate during the school day using garden and food activities to support learning. The gardens are a dynamic classroom for hands on learning and our
school based programs are linked to curriculum. Teachers book us for on line and hands on student workshops.
On line programs reach students at home or in school. This past year when children were not in school due to the pandemic, we supported parents and teachers through virtual programs from Kindergarten to grade 5. While summer programs were on hold due to the pandemic we continued to care for the gardens, harvesting and selling produce in the local farm markets and donating produce to Mothers of Peace.
Since return to school this past September we have served 1051 children and youth through on line and hands-on programs including 43 children Grades 1-2 participating in our hands on Garden Club.
Our on line programs are teaching climate action through our growing Pea Shoots and Trees from Seeds programs. We deliver the kits to the schools and the rest is done on line. We teach children about food waste composting, mindful eating and Land Guardianship, hands on in the gardens while harvesting produce, mulching the gardens, planting garlic to grow over winter, composting, planting tree seedlings in our 3 school garden tree nurseries and while collecting seeds from native pollinator and food plants.
We also have two exciting new initiatives to report. GTGK is establishing another children’s garden at Stilecroft Public School in NW Toronto and we have started Local Explorers an exciting new program offered in partnership with Project Canoe for self- identified Indigenous and Black teenaged girls which will run from September 2021 to September 2022.
We need your help to continue our work in the school gardens and to develop new exciting garden and on line learning programs. We have doubled our programming without being able to increase staff. For a small charity we provide an extraordinary variety of programming. But we need financial support!
Look us up and learn more about what we do. Please support our work by donating at www.greenthumbsto.org.