Back in March, you may remember I told you about my experience in the virtual garden.
Michigan State University Extension, the 4-H Children’s Garden, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and KidsCom partnered to develop the virtual garden piece of the MyGarden initiative, part of the Idea Seekers Universe on KidsCom.com. Around the world, anyone with a computer can access the garden. Since its inception, more than 16,800 kids have started a garden; 32,467 seeds have been sold to plant in the garden; and 29,245 crops have been harvested. After harvesting their crops, kids “cook” a healthy meal using USDA recipes and then have a party and play games to celebrate. That’s all virtual seeds and crops, of course. But in this virtual world, kids are learning to think healthier and to understand where their food is coming from.
Associate program leader Becky Henne oversees the MyGarden project development and coordination, while Dr. Norm Lownds, curator of the 4-H Children’s Garden, has presented four learning labs on KidsCom.com that were well attended by kids. Dr. Lownds is the celebrity avatar on the site and kids are able to ask him questions about issues involving plants and gardening.
Fox Business News interviewed Jori Clarke, CEO of Circle One Network that created KidsCom, about the virtual garden and MSUE’s and Dr. Lownds’ role in it: http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/4168692/teaching-kids-to-eat-right/
Last week, the partners launched the KidsCom Farmers Market. In this experience, kids strengthen their food recognition skills and learn how to make purchases and sell fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s just another creative way to get kids learning. And it’s another great example of success through partnerships.