Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Dig In! Growing Season Is Here and Learning Opportunities Abound!

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 annual flowers are planted.
Copyright (c) 2008 by S. D. Schindler
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 the First Family. You can learn more about the Obama's experiences in planting, harvesting, and eating healthy recipes made from the bounty of the White House kitchen garden by searching kitchen garden on For information on taking students on a free tour of the White House kitchen garden, click here. To discover White House Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford's grilled garden pizza recipe, click here.  
Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert, March 26, 2012
And to learn even more about the Obama's experiences in planting the White House kitchen garden, check out First Lady Michelle Obama's new book, American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America.

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. S. D. Schindler's coordinating illustration of Thomas Jefferson enjoying the bounty of his own White House kitchen garden is featured above.

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!

The National Children's
Book and Literacy Alliance's award-winning book Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out is filled with stunning art, poetry, stories, and personal accounts that celebrate our Presidents and First Ladies, and the history and culture of America! All proceeds go to help the NCBLA continue its work.
Our White House is available in both hardcover and paperback from Candlewick Press. Learn more at

Ask for Our White House
at a library or bookstore near you!