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Storytimes, STEM & Summer Sites 2015

Summer Fun with Growing Green Hearts 

Here’s a sample of what Growing Green Hearts has been up to…

Growing Green Hearts kicked off the summer by providing nature-based programming with MELSA libraries in May, June, and July.  Oh the joy on a child’s face when their fingers are in the cool summer soil with tiny seeds and tangled roots and silly stories to match!  One special highlight was sharing prairie stories with 50+ kids at the Maplewood library then coaching the kids in creating their backyard butterfly garden outside the children’s area window.  Now kids can peek through the scope from the reading nook to spot butterflies, bugs, flowers and milkweed.Roseville library kids dug into some vegetable garden designs for their continually chaining and growing Storytime Garden natural playground area.  Growing Green Hearts provides STEM connections, designs, site analysis, supplies and environmental education to match library site needs (and your sites needs too!) with plantings for:  butterflies, vegetables, clean water, cultural connections, shady areas, bird habitat, and play- filled spaces.

The Minnesota Institute for Talented Youth’s new course titled Outdoor Adventures in Engineering, run by Growing Green Hearts, was a smiling success!  MITY participants chose 2 classes as part of their two-week summer ExplorSchool experience which was based a St. Paul Academy.  Each morning the adventurous engineers, grades 5-7, headed outside to ask and answer questions about the natural systems in which we live.  Engineering design challenges were playful while rooted in sustainability topics.   Solutions from students and their teams were insightful and clever.   Field study adventures included Fort Snelling State Park, DNR headquarters, and public transportation to solar sites.

Turn your green on!  A community building initiative with Salem Lutheran in north Minneapolis grew into a week-long evening environmental stewardship camp for kids.  The congregation provided meals, fellowship, leaders, and a place welcoming for all to play and make new friends.  Gardening, games, service-projects, creation care discussions, and science experiments were brought in and coached by Growing Green Hearts.

Learning opportunities for kids offered by our local school districts never stops- and when the schedule shifts to summer hours the fun gets cranked up higher.  Outdoor play was power-packed in Hopkins in August when 50 kids played with geology-based engineering design challenges (ESTEAM) created and run by Growing Green Hearts.  The temperature was hot but kids stayed cool while playing with energy, climate, and water systems.

What next?  Keep an eye and ear out (#EFNyouthlead, #GGHconnect) for stories from youth working to green their church congregations.  Growing Green Hearts has teamed up with the ELCA Minneapolis Area Synod’s EcoFaith Network for Connect-the-Dots:  Faith, Science & Youth Leadership™ in which teams of high school and middle school teens explore creation care in scripture and engage in science experiments specific to climate change and energy conservation.

Play. Learn. Love.

August 2015