Monday, June 6, 2011

Growing Season Is Here!

Plant a Garden with Your Kids and Reap the Rewards

Spring gardening continues across the country as early crops are harvested and summer crops and flowers are planted. Why not take some time in the early days of summer vacation to plan and plant a garden with your children? No matter how big--or small--the garden, you and your family can benefit not only from the garden's bounty but also from the experience itself. In the NCBLA article "Growing a Spring Garden: Cultivating Plants and Your Child's Literacy Skills," author and educator Mary Brigid Barrett explains the interdisciplinary opportunities inherent in gardening with your children.

Make Connections!
To get your kids excited about gardening, make connections with the gardening work of other kids, including the work of kids helping in the White House kitchen garden. You can watch a video of elementary school students helping to plant the White House garden early this spring. And you can read about the latest crops planted by Native American schoolchildren in the White House kitchen garden--corn, beans, and squash!--in the Baltimore Sun article "'Three Sisters Make White House Appearance." 

Dig into the Past!
Help young people make connections to the past in the article "White House Colonial Kitchen Gardens" by Stephanie Loer in the NCBLA's literature and art anthology Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out

And be sure to check out the online article "A Taste of the Past: White House Kitchens, Menus, and Recipes" by Mary Brigid Barrett. This article is included in the educational companion website to Our White House and features a glimpse into the days before modern appliances eased the burdens of the White House cook.  Also included in "A Taste of the Past"  is President Dwight Eisenhower's not-to-be-missed recipe for Green Turtle Soup!

Our White House is a project of The National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance designed to encourage young people to read more about America’s rich history and culture; to think more about America’s future; to talk more about our nation’s leadership; and to act on their own beliefs and convictions, ensuring this great democratic experiment will survive and thrive. Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough introduces this creative tour de force, in which 108 renowned authors and illustrators have donated their poetry, prose, and art to help advance the cause of young people’s literacy and historical literacy. The illustrations, essays, short stories, presidential letters, personal reflections, and historical accounts in Our White House inform and entertain, offering a window on more than 200 years of American history.

Our White House is available in both hardcover and paperback. The new paperback edition features a NEW poem by Nikki Grimes about President Obama’s inauguration!