(Posted Dec. 12, 2019)
The Madison County Master Gardeners have won state and international recognition for Soil Super Heroes, an after-school program they created for children.
The all-volunteer group won first place in the Search for Excellence Competition Youth Division at the 2018 Ohio Master Gardeners Convention in Cincinnati and the 2019 International Master Gardeners Convention in Philadelphia.
Sue Cline, Christy Pearl and Shirley Kindrick are the Master Gardeners who were primarily responsible for the design, implementation and operation of Soil Super Heroes, which ran for two years at Jonathan Alder Local Schools’ Monroe Elementary in Plumwood. During that time, the Master Gardeners served approximately 80 children in a fun and active learning environment that focused on soil, plants and nutrition.
Soil Super Heroes was designed to engage children in research-based activities organized by thematic units of study. The children learned plant parts and names and how to plant and care for seeds and bulbs. The connection between a growing plant, a healthy diet, and a strong body was a regular topic, supported in part by growing, tasting and comparing different foods.
Respect for the natural world was foundational. “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” was modeled and taught every day. Books, projects, field trips and beautification of the schoolyard were all part of the project.
The children adopted the motto, “We can change the world to make it better!”
For more information about the Master Gardener Program or Soil Super Heroes, call the Madison County Ohio State University Extension Office at (740) 852-0975.