Summer Programming




Learn-2-Grow

Since the summer of 2019, Fit-2-Serve has partnered with the Mattoon Family YMCA to provide programming for their Summer Youth Camp. Utilizing the garden as a classroom, youth walk from the YMCA to our Community Garden at South 5th Place--a little over a mile. Younger campers walk to the Fit-2-Serve building and garden as well.

Weekly lesson plans are created that include a rotation of stations where youth learn the basics of gardening, including weeding, planting, and harvesting. The campers learn how to use gardening tools such as hand shovels, mini wheelbarrows, mini garden hoes, hand rakes, watering cans, & much more!

Summer AmeriCorps VISTAs are instrumental in leading & facilitating the programming that nurture relationships while participating in the service-learning activities. This is an prime example of a vibrant collaborative community partnership!

Summer Learn-2-Grow

Check out some of the summer activities we've done so far!

Fruit Kabobs

The kids got to make a fruit kabob using watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple & strawberries. They then got to "taste test" different Mexican seasonings & sauces such as Chamoy, & Tajin!

Dissecting Peas

The kids got to dissect a pea pod with a toothpick when it was too hot to be in the garden. They learned the different parts of the pea plant & how they grow above ground! 

Pea Pod Craft

The kids LOVED making their own "pea pod family"! 

Mulching

The kids learned how to scoop & move mulch using hand scoops & wheelbarrows! 

Planting

The kids have been planting all kinds of fruits & veggies this summer! They learned how certain seeds have to be planted differently depending on how it grows.

Watering

The kids learned how to water plants properly using a watering can. 

Inspire-2-Grow

The very first Inspiration Station was held at Sunrise Apartments in July 2017 & was inspired by a teacher's desire to maintain contact with students over the summer months. Over the years, the success of the program proved invaluable & was incorporated into the F2S mission. The name was changed to Inspire-2-Grow with a focus on an 8-week STEAM curriculum that was developed & facilitated by a team of local teachers.

Teachers follow the Salvation Army's Summer Food Truck schedule, meeting the students & families in their neighborhood & eating lunch with them, followed by an hour-long STEAM activity. In 2021, we partnered with the Mattoon Family YMCA Summer Youth Campers to provide activities at our facility. For 8 weeks each summer, youth are engaged in creating & building robots, Ferris wheels, & other projects that provide fun, experiential learning opportunities. On a weekly basis, approximately 75-80 youth participate at one of the locations.



Gardens

Inspire-2-Grow

Take a look at some of the activities we've done so far!

Car

The kids from the YMCA designed & built their own car!

Rocket 

The kids from the YMCA built & designed a rocket. Using water & Alka-Seltzer tablets they watched them shoot into the air! 

Tree House

The campers from the YMCA designed & built their own tree house!

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