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  • Butterfly Kisses
    group is in it Some of them are at the height of it explains Counselor Chris Napier To give them this reprieve of a day at the Garden is therapeutic in and of itself They re here They re learning They aren t worried about where their next meal is coming from right now Many kids come to Project Hope through the court system or are referred by social services the school guidance counselor or principals Others have a friend or neighbors that have told them about it The delight and exuberance these children expressed was typical of any child we see in the Garden but there was an undercurrent of sensitivity sadness and hesitation It was unspoken but as a child who grew up with domestic violence myself I could empathize with the shame with the questioning of self and the feeling of being different It was a heaviness I immediately felt I asked Napier what makes this program important for these kids There s a focus on educational opportunities that aren t so obvious For example some of these kids haven t been out of their neighborhood or community before Malachite butterfly Crystal perched on Lilac s horse The conversations between the kids and camp counselors illustrated a strong rapport with the kids and of course love Kate is super motherly and a lot of them flock to her Napier explains of his colleague The children were excited to share each tiny adventure anything they loved every new thing with her For example when a malachite butterfly hitchhiker landed on one camper Lilac and wouldn t let go Hanger teased If she won t let go of you you ll have to stay here Camper Lilac replied O K Hanger said We ll have to make you a tour guide for the Butterflies LIVE exhibit Camper Lilac replied O K Anyway who would want to get off of a horse especially a pink one referring to the applique on her shirt I mean who would want to get off a pink pony I mean seriously One second later Lilac s passenger had a name Her name is Crystal because on the back of her wings it looks like an green crystal But the best part of the visit Just seeing the butterflies flying past you and jumping on you Lilac said We want them to have fun Hanger explains Being able to play with kids who are in similar circumstances at home and having a set routine is really important The kids learned about Clerodendrum ugandense or blue butterfly bush a plant that looks like butterflies AND attracts butterflies We wear alot of different hats because in the area where we are we are the only service program so they count on us for alot of different services explained Napier We re trying to get the students elementary school faculty more involved and trying to educate them about red flags to look for in the kids that they

    Original URL path: http://www.lewisginter.org/butterfly-kisses/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Zahra Khojastehpour
    rare occasions horse donkey or farm animals we did not see as many creatures Also I did not learn much about animals during my school years because our schools focused more on academics math and physics in high school and engineering in college My perspective was centered on what animals are useful for humans what type of use we can get out of them Is it good for eating its meat Is it nice to watch or listen to I was the center of a world where everything was defined from my stand point After living in the United States for a few years I have learned more about the world of animals and also kindness to them as being living creatures But I was still very far from the point where I was ready to judge what animal I want to be To be honest a little offended even by thinking of the subject I was under impression that humans are the top of the God s creation and thinking of myself as an animal was asking me to step down and select from a level inferior to me Anyways not to show my discomfort or weakness I thought hard and answered I want to be an animal who can fly in the sky swim in the ocean and run on the dirt I do remember that I noticed the looks on my classmates faces like what an animal is she I knew why I said that but I am not proud of it Since residing in the U S the challenges of new life have put me into survival mode I was working hard but not enjoying myself My focus was to establish my identity in this new society that I wanted to be part of I wanted to be big and bold enough not to be pray for others And I wanted to have enough means built into my nature to be able to escape any danger and defend myself in the face of challenges Now I ve matured 5 years later I am a volunteering at Butterflies LIVE I help monitor the door into the exhibit and educate visitors as they come in telling them to not worry if a butterfly lands on them telling them to be careful not to step on the butterflies and making sure that no butterflies escape out of the controlled room where these beautiful tropical beauties are kept To be a volunteer I had to learn about the life cycle of this magnificent creature Going through the growing pains of maturity and humbled by life experiences now I finally knew that answer to that important question from class 5 years ago I wanted to be a butterfly If you wonder why the answer is in the butterfly life cycle Butterflies have a very short life span compare to most creatures especially humans They experience four totally distinct stages of life cycle Starting as an egg which lasts 2 days to

    Original URL path: http://www.lewisginter.org/my-life-lesson-from-butterflies/ (2016-02-13)
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  • What's Cooking in the Community Kitchen Garden
    three favorite meals mac n cheese spaghetti with meat sauce and roast turkey with dressing Greens are especially popular kale collards cabbage turnip greens But his audience doesn t appreciate food trends as much he might hope That is except bacon They love anything with bacon in it Special requests Anything smothered James says This is the South after all His favorite FeedMore story is about a homebound senior citizen a Meals on Wheels client who called him to ask when the organization had started growing their own vegetables She could taste the difference he said The roasted squash medley that we made from vegetables grown in the Community Kitchen Garden tasted like what she remembered from the backyard garden of her childhood That s what I love about this partnership The Community Kitchen Garden was inspired by a conversation between the Garden s former executive director Frank Robinson and FeedMore s former president and chief executive Fay Lohr Support for the project came from many community partners and was funded with a grant from The Community Foundation and is maintained by a dedicated hardworking group of volunteers Laura Schumm Community Kitchen Garden Horticulturist unloads the harvest in one of her twice weekly deliveries First stop the scale where vegetables are weighed to help with meal planning Amory James Food Production Manager with a tray of vegetables grown in the Community Kitchen Garden Almost 900 servings of Eggplant Zucchini casserole cool on racks in the Community Kitchen Amory James with eggplant from the Community Kitchen Garden packed and ready for delivery Just in case you are cooking for a crowd this summer James shared a few of his most popular recipes using fresh produce from the Garden We also converted two more of his recipes for you so that they feed nine not 800 Meals on Wheels Tomato Cucumber Salad Serves 9 1 ½ T sugar 1 8 t salt 1 t pepper 1 ½ t dried basil 2 c red wine vinegar 1 c water 1 c vegetable oil 4 ½ pounds tomatoes diced 2 ½ pounds cucumbers peeled and diced ½ pound red onion thinly sliced Combine spices sugar vinegar water and oil and mix well Pour marinade over vegetables mixing well Chill thoroughly and drain before serving Meals on Wheels Eggplant Zucchini Squash Casserole Serves 9 3 c low sodium tomato sauce 2 t fresh garlic crushed 1 t Worcestershire sauce 1 t dried oregano ½ t dried basil ½ t dried marjoram 1 t pepper ½ pound zucchini sliced 1 3 pound dry pasta spaghetti 1 3 pound yellow onion chopped ½ pound mozzarella sliced ¼ pound green pepper chopped ¾ pound eggplant diced Cook pasta according to package directions and set aside Sauté onions peppers squash and eggplant just until tender Add tomato sauce garlic Worchester oregano basil and marjoram Bring to a simmer for 15 minutes Remove from heat Add pasta and mix well Oil a large flat casserole dish and add mixture Arrange

    Original URL path: http://www.lewisginter.org/whats-cooking-in-the-community-kitchen-garden/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Will Eichenberger
    is to expose participants to experiences that build confidence and life skills as well as work experience As part of the LIFE program students can elect to take part in a 2 week long half day work experience As a result of the program s partnership with the Garden Will joined our Children s Garden team and worked closely with me He focused his internship on horticulture spending most of his time supporting the Youth Summer Volunteer Program participants in the Community Kitchen Garden growing vegetables for FeedMore On a personal level Will was a great coworker easy going flexible personable and kept us all entertained with fascinating stories from his weekend adventures of zip lining and rock climbing Will also practiced his skills in mobility and orientation at the Garden Daniel Ashman the rehabilitation center s activities and special projects coordinator explained that this practice helps generate a greater sense of independence through problem solving to know that one can traverse both familiar and unfamiliar areas The winding pathways and various walkways within the Garden make it a great place to practice these skills Ashman added This is the Garden s second year partnering with the center and its LIFE program Lewis Ginter has taken it upon themselves with other community partners to re invent how blind Virginians interact within the garden Ashman said From tactile maps to descriptive tours to integrating high tech accessibility solutions Lewis Ginter has opened a dialogue with agencies and individuals to understand the needs of the blind and is striving to meet those needs Our summer work experience is one facet of how our continued partnership with Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden expands as our knowledge and experience with one another grows About Nicki Apostolow Nicki Apostolow is the Youth Programs Developer at Lewis

    Original URL path: http://www.lewisginter.org/meet-intern-will-eichenberger/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Meet Mayor’s Youth Academy Intern Mia Washington
    s Garden is perfect exposure for my career choice and also suffices the mission of the Mayor s Youth Academy tries to achieve So far I have gotten a chance to work with the Garden s Green Adventure Summer Camp and with day cares and schools that come here for educational field trips During the camps I ve worked alongside Children s Garden Educator Mitra Bryant who is a fantastic instructor After just being here a few weeks I ve gained a lot of skills from her that I ll be able to pull from for when I do become a teacher While with Mitra I have been working with 4 and 5 year olds which I enjoy Early Childhood Program Developer Kristin Thoroman and Children s Garden Program Developer Kristi Orcutt have been awesome people to work with when it came to prepping work for camps The different creative things that they both come up with are incredible and I m delighted to be able to learn and actually create what they show me I ve been able to help run our Garden Art on Monday afternoons from 2 3 p m There I help set up the mobile art studio and supplies and encourage the children to participate We give them fun project to work on One week it was a a beautiful magnolia flower print to paint with water color The kids typically don t need much help However Kristin told me how I can help the kids by giving them tips about mixing colors or using a spray bottle filled with water to extract the watercolors The staff I have worked with have really showed me the ropes and are amazing examples for me to follow So far I ve learned a plethora of skills that

    Original URL path: http://www.lewisginter.org/meet-mayors-youth-academy-intern-mia-washington/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Children's Garden Intern Kittie Storey
    to harvest she is the fastest mulch spreader I ve ever seen and she knows great techniques for staking tomatoes Take it away Kittie Volunteers from the Founders Center along with Service Learning Intern Kittie Storey and Youth Programs Developer Nicki Apostolow as they harvest tomatoes My experience as a volunteer at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden has been much more than I had expected and I continue to be surprised and delighted everyday When I was first asked on as the Service Learning Intern I had expected to work fairly close with the youth volunteers possibly in a supervisory nature but our relationship has evolved into so much more I feel that I am both a mentor and a peer I feel that the knowledge that I have acquired in farming and gardening in the past has transferred to them Their ability to digest that information and use it in their work in Community Kitchen Garden is inspiring Working side by side with these young hard working individuals in a garden that is producing food for those in need is the most rewarding part of my experience at Lewis Ginter Regardless of the project at hand or the intensity of the summer heat they complete each task without complaint and with immense focus The youth volunteers express interest in what they are doing and continue to want to learn more Kittie staking tomatoes with Zach youth volunteer Along with the help of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden staff and horticulturists we are helping young people to understand the importance of agriculture food production and service to our community I am so very glad to be a part of this and I hope that I make as much of an impact on the junior volunteers as they have on me About Nicki

    Original URL path: http://www.lewisginter.org/meet-childrens-garden-intern-kittie-storey/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Hula Hoops & Pancakes
    trap the more I tried the less effective I was They continued to ask When are we going to have fun Well what s fun The group couldn t quite explain and they became frustrated with me I dunno Fun like hula hooping someone blurted making pancakes Well alright then that s what we ll try Kennijah smirks with a purple fingered offering of a ripened mulberry The group harvests mulberries and strawberries for the pancakes This is not their first time trying these fruits though for many their last visit to the Garden was where they first tried them I sit under the mulberry tree and ask the students What would you say to someone in the next NextUp session who didn t want to try these mulberries Kennijah advises Try new foods it s good to try new things This proverb makes me laugh thinking back on the first day of the program some of the students hid from me There were others who outright refused to go to the Garden The first thing I said to them was what my grandmother always told me at the dinner table Just try it at least once if you don t like it then fair enough Yarianna smiles as she tastes a mulberry With each NextUp session the activities lessened as it took longer to work through biases and fears the students had built up They were at a seesaw age between a younger child who will try anything and an adult who is stuck in their way It was worth taking the extra time to explain something like the importance of bees or the fact the dirt is not necessarily dirty though not everyone was always swayed Persuasion is easier when the explaining is done hands on with little talk Students from Henderson Middles School s NextUp program collect strawberries in the Children s Garden Memory paired well with the senses Laughing and joking among themselves I quiz Jasmine to see if she remembers why not all strawberries look like the ones that we pick in the Children s Garden She answers a lot of the really big strawberries at the grocery store are pumped with chemicals Yarianna follows the ones from the Garden Fragaria virginiana are fresh and native They are just a naturally smaller variety The students remembering these facts impresses me greatly There were many distractions fears biases trust yet to be earned and other more logistical issues like transportation The Garden does not have it s own charter system so coordinating transporting minors through the public school system has its own complexities Luckily bioRide NextUp RVA also known as Middle School Renaissance 2020 is a collaborative community initiative providing opportunities for middle school youth to continue their learning beyond the school day by building an integrated Out of School Time OST system to support and sustain quality expanded learning opportunities after school across the city Currently NextUp operates coordinated programming at Henderson Middle School and

    Original URL path: http://www.lewisginter.org/hula-hoops-pancakes/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Partnership for the Future
    to enjoy it very much Sometimes we would we read to them though if they saw an animal or something that intrigued them the book would be the last thing on their minds But that gave us a chance to talk more about nature so it was good too Overall I think snack was their favorite because constantly they would ask When s snack When s snack We have healthy fun snacks and even harvest and nibble from the garden so it doesn t surprise me that they are excited about snack The staff also trained me to lead other Children s Garden activities During Garden Art on Mondays 2 3 p m I sit in a shady spot under the CWD Kids Treehouse and facilitate kids activities as the children draw or paint or just engage with them as they do their own activity I like helping with Garden Art because it helps kids express their artsy side One Monday a lady told me that she like the idea of Garden Art because she likes how the setting is outside and not in a classroom Garden Art allows kids to do something fun outside in nature I also helped support staff with Youth Volunteering in the Community Kitchen Garden providing FeedMore with fresh local vegetables for their Meals on Wheels recipients and to help children in need Though the Community Kitchen Garden is full sun which the vegetables love full sun is not my favorite but I have learned a lot and I m glad I tried something new What I have taken away from my internship is that learning experiences can be anywhere and that learning in a garden can help you gain leadership skills self confidence responsibility creativity and learning about living a healthy lifestyle all things

    Original URL path: http://www.lewisginter.org/a-partnership-for-the-future/ (2016-02-13)
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