A timeless summer activity — kicking around patches of dandelions that have gone to seed. Photo: John Boivin

Rossland Library gardening club gets kids’ hands dirty and brains active

Weekly club designed to be fun and flexible

What does a library have in common with a garden?

Both are great places for kids to learn.

“Gardens cover a broad section of science, art, math, measuring, writing, and most every sort of learning,” says Gillian Eames, a librarian at the Rossland Public Library and facilitator of the gardening club. “We cover a number of different competencies, or literacies.”

For the last two weeks, kids have dropped into the library on Thursday afternoons for the new 90-minute gardening club.

The kids have learned how to dig and plan and plant a garden — and Eames says they’ve jumped right into it.

“I thought I might have to prep them a little bit, you know, dig up the garden. But oh no, the kids just started digging,” she says. “So we spent an hour just digging the garden, right from step one.”

Getting their hands dirty hasn’t been a problem, she says.

“These kids actually want to be there, they want to be into this, which is great,” says Eames. “They don’t get distracted, they’re present.”

The program will last till August, when the children learn the fruits of their labour.

“That’s the visual goal, that we have a garden with food in it — food for humans, birds and insects,” Eames says. “It may not all look like food, but it’s food for somebody.

That’s the aesthetic goal, but there are physical goals — working safely with tools — and intellectual goals like spelling, building vocabulary, and learning about soil science, seeds, and water conservation while growing food.

Kids don’t have to sign up to take part. It’s flexible enough they can miss the odd week during the summer.

To find out more, contact the Rossland Public Library.

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The kids at the gardening club learn from each other. Photo: John Boivin

Kids having fun at the gardening club, hosted by the Rossland library. See full story page 1. Photo: John Boivin

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