Cartoons, games and jokes were used to illustrate the importance of healthy nutrition as Southern Illinois University Edwardsville sociology and environmental science graduate students explained how fresh food would soon take root in The Tiny Children’s Garden designed for the Village of Washington Park.
Students from Sociology 515, taught by Connie Frey Spurlock, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Sociology, made a presentation on Monday, Dec. 9 to third-fifth grade students of James Avant Elementary School in Washington Park. SIUE students explained the origins of the Tiny Children’s Garden, which was the brainchild of James Avant’s own third grade teacher, Derissa Davis. Quanshanda Nicholson is the principal at James Avant.
Elementary school children saw photos of the stages of the cleanup of a vacant lot, which began Sept. 28, and is now the site of the garden. A student-created cartoon explained how SIUE collaborated with Davis to begin the journey of creating it.
“Professor Connie and her students are doing public sociology and dedicating course research to answer the Washington Park community question, ‘How can we secure fresh vegetables and fruits for our community?’” relayed the cartoon. “The Tiny Children’s Garden is the answer to that question.”
“The garden was created to improve the quality of life for Washington Park residents,” the cartoon says. “By building a community garden that will provide fresh and healthy food for community members, it helps to beautify the land and ensures a sustainable solution that secures the community’s needs for generations to come.”
SIUE students and James Avant Elementary teachers quizzed the elementary students on the descriptions of fruits and vegetables by playing a game. When holding a picture of a certain fruit or vegetable, the person had to guess its name by asking the audience questions.
“Do you like to eat me?” asked Davis, holding a picture of Brussel sprouts.
“No!” groaned the audience.
“Am I green?”
“Yes!” roared the students.
“Why did the mushroom get invited to the all the parties,” asked Amy Yates, a graduate student majoring in sociology. “Because he is a fungi!”
Other students working with Frey Spurlock include Arieanna Morris, Rachel Green, Breanne Burton, Linda Aguirre, Scott Antrobus, Hayley Winker and Nikolle Sanguinette, all majoring in sociology; and Razan Abulola, Danielle Kulina and Suprassana Aryal, all majoring in environmental science.
James Avant teacher Asheley Browning tries to guess her fruit – a mango.
Talking to elementary students is Danielle Kulina, a graduate student majoring in environmental science. In the background is Hayley Winker, a graduate student majoring in sociology.
James Avant teacher Keeva’ Johnson celebrates after guessing his fruit – a pineapple.