Family child care homes across Alabama are starting gardens and introducing fresh local foods to the children in their care. Array of Light Home Care in Millbrook, AL has shown tremendous success in expanding the Farm to ECE movement across Alabama, and we are so excited to share their story in our newest success story video!
Array of Light Home Care first participated in the Farm to ECE Learning Collaboratives in 2021. After participating in the Learning Collaborative, they were inspired to continue their gardening activities and applied to receive Farm to ECE Sustainability Funds. This opportunity was offered to programs that had previously participated in a Learning Collaborative so they could sustain their garden. Encouraging new programs to participate in the Learning Collaboratives, Sharon Jackson of Array of Light Home Care also served as a peer mentor for two Learning Collaborative cycles, leading and supporting new programs participating in Farm to ECE for the first time.
In this success story video, we had the opportunity to highlight Master Gardener Bionca Lindsey! Bionca has worked with early childhood programs across the state, in partnership with AL Healthy Kids, Healthy Future, to start and sustain gardening projects. Bionca and the HKHF team also host monthly virtual trainings that address all topics related to gardening in early childhood settings.
Our day at Array of Light Home Care started with making changes to the garden, repositioning planters and pots so they can receive more sun as we go into the fall. Before starting our transplants and seeds, we enjoyed an interactive, outdoor story time together, reading the book “Going on a Leaf Hunt”. Together, we searched for falling leaves, sang a fun leaf hunt song, and played! After our story time, we were ready to get into the garden!
The children at Array of Light each dug in the soil, planted seeds and transplants, and watered their new plants with the guidance of Sharon, Bionca, and the rest of the team. After our time together in the garden, we enjoyed a fresh snack of orange slices before serving lunch.
Being a part of the Farm to ECE magic happening each day at Array of Light was so special, and reminded us of the importance of introducing new experiences to young children. We hope you see our joy and the team’s dedication to Farm to ECE in our newest video!