Farms For City Kids
In Reaching Riverdale, Annebelle leaves the small town she grew up in to attend college in New York. She experiences life in both the city and the country – an opportunity that many take for granted. When you grow up with the sort of chances that allow you to travel from one sort of place to the next, it’s hard to believe there are children throughout the nation who live in an urban environment and have never experienced life outside the city. These children may have never seen a starry sky, stepped foot on a farm or been aware that the food they purchase doesn’t magically appear on the shelves of grocery stores.
Farms For City Kids Foundation changes that. By providing a stimulating outdoor classroom on a thousand-acre farm in Vermont, this charitable foundation has made an impact on thousands of inner-city kids throughout the years. The children, who usually range in age from 8-12 years old, spend a week on the farm where various skills like reading, writing, math and social studies are applied to hands-on farming tasks. These tasks prove to the children that the lessons they’re taught in school are applicable in the outside world. They may use math to measure flour for a batch of cookies or to keep track of how much to feed an animal. Biology might be utilized to discover how old a tree is.
The students develop values such as leadership, hard work, respect and responsibility by caring for a wide array of animals from cows to goats, chickens to turkeys, pigs, and ducks. They help grow a variety of fruits and vegetables including sweet corn and peas, pumpkins and potatoes, raspberries, blueberries and apples. All across the farm there’s the potential for a lesson to be learned. Whether at the Cheese House where they can study chemistry and microbiology or through learning about the pollination process in the gardens – the students’ week with Farms For City Kids has proven life changing. It gives the children invaluable life skills, enriches their view of the world, teaches them how vital education truly is – and perhaps, even shows them the beauty of a starry sky for the very first time.
I encourage you to learn more about Farms For City Kids by visiting their website at www.farmsforcitykids.org and doing your own part to create change in the lives of these children by making a donation, sponsoring a child or a project.