Education By Gardening

Since 2007, FHC has maintained a large vegetable and flower garden on the Sheldon Street property. This land enables nearby Indianapolis children to learn how seeds grow into plants, how to care for the garden, how to be environmentally responsible while gardening, and how to prepare, eat, and share the produce from the garden.

During each summer, volunteers work on the garden and with the children to ensure the children grow in knowledge and have fun. The structure is similar to a general summer camp, but with gardening as the core theme. Lessons and activities come from the curriculums outlined in the Junior Master Gardener Teacher/Leader Guide published by the Texas Agricultural Extension Service and in MyGarden published by Michigan State University Extension. Additionally, FHC is the recipient of science kits they use from Lilly Science Education Outreach along with Purdue Extension volunteers who work with FHC volunteers as needed.

The following camp themes incorporate English language arts, math, science, social studies lessons, along with horticulture information:

  • Plant growth and development
  • Soils and water
  • Ecology and environmental horticulture
  • Insects and diseases
  • Landscape horticulture
  • Fruits and nuts
  • Vegetables and herbs

Each day there is time for learning, working, creative crafts, games, fellowship, and a snack. Children in grades Pre-K through 8, participate in this summer camp.

Come back here for more about Education by Gardening current activities later in June.

Read More About Past Gardening Activities

Embracing Ethiopian Heritage – (G A 2 G)

This is the second largest area of impact, after outdoor gardening, for FHC. The program focuses on second generation Ethiopian youth living in Indianapolis. FHC interacts with parents from cultural backgrounds and social norms much different from those of Indianapolis. The youth are dealing with intergenerational stress. They describe themselves as “Growing as Second Generation” (GA2G).

This afterschool program reduces intergenerational stress by helping the youth understand their heritage, history, and culture. Participants learn to share with each other and with others in the community while developing leadership skills. Results include increased parental support for the youth and for GA2G, plus increased understanding between youth cultures in Indianapolis. GA2G members also gain an appreciation for their own culture’s music and dance. They perform in International Festivals (both at school and at the city wide event), and in Black History activities. They also participate in presentations of the “Song for Peace” drama.

CA2G have recently partnered with the Art Institute and will be incorporating art in their activities, including the painting of art murals on the FHC property. Register for the Art Institute program by June 10 by completing thisform and sending it to FHC, 1648 Sheldon St, Indianapolis, IN 46128.

Read More About GA2G Activities

Ethiopian Orphans

In 2004, FHC staff visited the orphanage of Sebeta to determine whether that site could support individual orphans. They concluded the orphanage was under sound management by nuns of the Eastern Ethiopia Orthodox Church. Thanks to its mission and its proximity to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the nunnery has proven an excellent place for FHC to support individual orphans.

Since the 2004 visit, various individuals have provided funding for orphans at Sebeta. These sponsors give an annual donation to FHC. FHC then wires the money to the Sebeta orphanage for the specified orphans. In return, the sponsors receive information about “their” orphans. The children range from age two to 18 years. In 2009, twelve orphans are benefitting from one-on-one support via FHC’s donation program.

Financial support of individual orphans in Ethiopia is a one-to-one direct relationship between the supporter and the orphan. That means that all money in support of individual orphans passes through FHC and goes completely in support of the orphan designated to the specified individual. The cost to provide full financial support for one orphan is $300 a year.

Read More About Sebeta and the Orphans