We only had to think of it

We only had to think of it

By Stéphane Poirier

On September 27th, I was blessed and honored to participate in a rather unusual community activity that proved highly enriching for me as well as for a group of kids, who on this occasion were my audience.

The activity

I was to give a brief presentation on horticulture, but mainly… on how to care for a plant, in front of a class of fourth graders at École de la Petite-Bourgogne in Montreal.

The kids were seated in groups of six at three different tables. Following my theory presentation, with the help of my spouse and the teacher, we proceeded to plant seedlings in pots with each child at our designated table.

At the end of the day, each child was given the responsibility of insuring the plant grows and stays alive (!) throughout the school year. The fourth-grade class teacher will be following up on the care of the plants.

Why

When Lynda, my spouse, and her friend Christine, who teaches in fourth grade, approached me with this activity, I immediately wondered what would be the point. They were quick to convince me of some of the benefits.

First of all, I need to mention that our home is filled with a great number of plants and that their expansion has been curtailed by a lack of space in the house. Nobody can oppose the idea of vegetation propagation, at least not those of us who care for the planet. I happen to belong to that group!

To give young children living in an underprivileged area, Montreal’s Petite-Bourgogne neighborhood, the opportunity to take part in the beautification of their living environment, was a good enough reason to persuade me of the social value of this activity.

That being said, I discovered on the day of the activity a third –– unexpected –– benefit: children love gardening. We gave them an opportunity to be empowered, by caring for their plant, and they responded with energy and enthusiasm, which in itself was a sweet victory.

We only had to think of it

There is a chance that some of the kids will stop caring for their plant once they take it home. However, since we no longer had enough space to continue expanding our plant collection, this good deed that only required 60 minutes in a classroom gave less fortunate kids a chance to achieve an empowering project on their own, which also happens to be healthy for their living space and for our planet!

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