On Saturday, Oct. 20, approximately 60 community volunteers gathered at the CPCD Ft. Carson Head Start Center to install the latest of an expected 180 community Learning Gardens to be built across the country by Boulder-based nonprofit The Kitchen Community. The project, which was funded by JPMorgan Chase, will benefit the children and families enrolled in Community Partnership for Child Development's (CPCD) Head Start and Colorado Preschool programs on post.
“We are thrilled to have a state-of-the-art Learning Garden at our Ft. Carson center,” said CPCD CEO Noreen Landis-Tyson. “It will provide healthy lessons in a fun, interactive way to low-income children and families who may not always have access to fresh foods. By providing the necessary tools, we can educate our families about healthy food choices and their benefits to learning.”
The Kitchen Community's Learning Gardens are designed help decrease childhood obesity, improve academic performance, and strengthen communities as members come together to install the garden and promote ways to obtain more affordable and sustainable fresh food. The Learning Gardens are easy, affordable and scaleable school garden systems created to be an extension of the playground. They include curvilinear, food-grade polyethylane raised planting beds, art poles, bench seating, shade structures and internal irrigation.
More than 100 children and their families enrolled at the Ft. Carson Head Start Center will have the opportunity to learn about and maintain the center's garden alongside CPCD volunteers, as well as take home the fresh vegetables and herbs they produce.
CPCD is a nonprofit that prepares nearly 2,000 children for kindergarten and future success in school and life in El Paso County. Through three programs - Head Start, Early Head Start and the Colorado Preschool Program - the agency provides excellent, comprehensive early childhood education to families with children, from prenatal to age 5, who are living in low-income homes, have special needs or are experiencing other difficult circumstances that could challenge their readiness for kindergarten.
“We are very excited to support the Ft. Carson community in partnership with CPCD and The KitchenCommunity, two innovative organizations helping Colorado kids,” said Connie Goddard, who manages Chase branches in Colorado Springs.