If you dream about teaching gardening to groups of children this is a wonderful program. Junior Master Gardener is an international youth gardening program of the University Extension network.
From their website:
JMG Mission: To grow good kids by igniting a passion for learning, success and service through a unique gardening education.
Service Learning: Students use what they have learned to be of service to others. Examples of service projects initiated by JMG groups include: growing produce for donation to food banks, community beautification projects, and class businesses generating funds for local charities.
Student Recognition: Youths completing requirements in a given chapter or for the overall program earn certification awarded by National JMG Program Office and JMG state program partners.
National Network: Twenty eight Universities nationally implement the program at the state level. Texas A&M University serves as the headquarters for the National JMG Program Office.
* The Texas AgriLife Extension Service, The Texas A&M University System
* AmeriCorps Hildago Group
* National Wildlife Federation
* Learn & Serve America
* Schools to Careers
* Master Gardener Associations
* Children's Better Health Institute
I have been working with a group at a local elementary school as an after school program for 5th graders. The kids are great. We've planted veggies, flowers and studied seed anatomy. They have also assembled a plant chair that was raffled off as a fund raiser for the Red Cross which went to help with those devastated by Hurricane Ike.
What amazes me about the program is that it is well-rounded, incorporating math science, reading and health. After having grown many of the different fruits and vegetables, they are willing to try them because they had grown them.
I truly believe that our generation has lost many of the basic skills to provide for themselves. This is vital for survival in all types of economic change the future may bring. Eating healthier, frugally and providing a tool to use to help others is priceless.
I would encourage anyone who works with youth groups or wants to see this in their school to check this program out.