Seeds of Inspiration Continue to Grow in Schools Across Canada
Last year we provided a review of our Seeds of Inspiration (SOI) program as we reached over a thousand schools throughout the country. You can read more on the background of SOI here, but allow us to share a snippet from the program’s mission statement:
“A seed, like any good idea, needs the right conditions to grow. It’s planted with love and attention. The soil shares it rich nutrients and yields to the seed’s tender, growing roots. Encouraged by water, and nourished by the warmth of sunlight, it blooms delicately at first, then flourishes with strength. Anchored to the earth, it emerges full of life and possibility.
Marvellous things can come from a tiny seed.
We think the same is true with children. We want children to become firmly rooted in a world of possibility, of awe and wonder, where their ideas and dreams can be cultivated, and where they can grow to respect and care for the earth while their minds are still open and receptive.
The Plant a Seed Foundation is there to support them in their growth. Our goal is to create brilliance in our children. To achieve their full potential, children need to be encouraged and inspired; we’re here to help them become a healthier generation through experiences that connect them to the land, and through opportunities that improve their community.“
Now that we’re at the third year for the SOI program it’s time for an update. 2020 has certainly presented its share of challenges to school curricula but teachers and students have been resilient and have come up with creative ways to grow the program beyond our wildest expectations. At press, SOI has reached 93,818 students in Canada! But instead offering additional data (there’s lots!) we thought it best to let the teachers do the talking. At the end of this article, we also provide links to get more information on our programs, and how you too can get involved. Let’s review!
What Educators Have to Say About the “Seeds of Inspiration” Program
Melissa Dundas, Kindergarten Teacher, Mission, BC
The following story from kindergarten teacher Melissa Dundas is so good we had to share it in its entirety. It shows how with dedication and dash of creativity that nothing can get in the way of inspiring our youth:
“I received my package in the fall of 2019 and planned on starting this program after spring break in 2020. Unfortunately, the COVID pandemic struck and students were asked to stay at home. I was able to send work packages to all of my students and do video conference calling with them from home. I sent home many things, including 2 unlabeled seeds in an envelope and their ‘Plant a Seed and See What Grows’ workbook.
My students were given instructions every week or so, asking them to examine their ‘mystery seeds, plant them, care for them as they grew, and fill in pages of their workbook. I also was able to read both stories that came with the Seeds of Inspiration package through video conferencing.
The students have been growing their seeds for about a month now, and today I finally told them what they are growing! Some of them had figured out what their seeds were, but many were surprised.
I really enjoyed this program and will absolutely use the materials again next year with my students. The books were beautifully illustrated and the language used was perfect for my kindergarten students.
Thank you so much for this opportunity and for the materials to get my students excited for growing their own food. They have loved having their very own plant to take care of and I will absolutely be encouraging next year’s students to care for their own plant too.”
Julie Davidsen, Administrator, Lower Elementary Senior Directress & Curriculum Advisor, Brilliant Star Montessori School, Saskatoon, SK
“We received our package today and were absolutely delighted with the books and seeds. What beautiful materials that will be enjoyed immensely. Thank you! We are very excited to grow our seeds and read the books with our classes. Our school has vegetable gardens already that we plant and harvest each year with our students and this initiative fits so nicely with our programming. We thank you sincerely for this wonderful opportunity!”
Jason Chow, Physics/Science Teacher, Richmond Secondary School
It was heartwarming to hear how our Foundation’s SOI program was applied to teach life skills to low incidence students at Richmond Secondary School, BC. For the uninitiated, low incidence students are those who have low-incidence disabilities such as visual impairment or hearing loss, deaf-blindness, and significant cognitive impairment.
“Thank you for the seeds, workbook, and books! Our low incidence life skills students had a great time planting the bush beans and radishes! Our low incidence students are secondary students with significant learning and development needs. Academically many of them operate at a grade 2-3 level or below. Many of them have one on one adult education assistance throughout the day. My grade 11 science class often works collaboratively with their life skills class in our school garden. We try to foster connections, empathy, and friendship among these students with wildly different abilities.”
Michelle Carlos, Early Years & Middle Years Literacy Consultant / Teacher Librarian, Whyte Ridge School, Winnipeg, MB
“The educational resources offered by Seeds of Inspiration were high quality with engaging illustrations for our early years students. The environmental focus fit perfectly with our curriculum needs and our students loved the hands-on experiences of planting and identifying different seeds. Each Kindergarten teacher in our school division received the books in English or French to add to their classroom library. Our French Immersion teachers were delighted to have this beautiful picture book and activity booklet already translated for them.”
Here Are Photos of Students Across Canada Enjoying the Seeds of Inspiration Educational Resources
Clark Rutherford Memorial School, NS
Taylor Elementary School, MB
LaSalle Elementary Junior, QC
Victory School, MB
École Primaire Westpark, QC
If you’re looking for resources that help educate and nurture your young students to learn about the seed-to-table growing cycle and be stewards of the environment, we’re happy to offer our free educational resources. Our Seeds of Inspiration program aims to reach youngsters through storytelling and planting — in schools. Since 2017, more than 93,000 students in well over 1,000 Canadian schools have participated. Please don’t let your students miss out on these wonderful, beautiful resources — all for free! View more on the SOI program.