Expanding Resources

Save the Children is an organization that was initiated in 1919, when the idea of children rights was not a common theme for the era.  History recalls “the health of young children was abysmal by modern standards, as about 1 in 4 children in 1900 died by age 5. Likewise, two million children between the ages of 10 and 15 worked in factories, on farms, and on urban streets” (Yarrow, 2009). Concurrently, the policy makers for educational were mediated the merits of education as a means for social and moral change, and a process by which to provide basic knowledge and skills.  Save the Children is not a governmental organization, it is a charity designed to help children in need in America and around the world.  Save the children work in the areas of most need, and those in desperate need of support. “Charity watchers, consumer advocates and donors agree: Save the Children ranks among the most trusted nonprofits and is a top charity for children” (Savethechildren.org).

In the U.S. and around the world, Save the Children does whatever it takes — every day and in times of crisis — to give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. When crisis strikes and children are most vulnerable, we are always among the first to respond and the last to leave. We ensure children’s unique needs are met and their voices are heard. We deliver lasting results for millions of children, including those hardest to reach. We do whatever it takes for children — transforming their lives and the future we share — because we believe every child deserves a future. 

Source:  https://www.savethechildren.org/us/what-we-do 

As advocates for children, Save the Children informs and challenges policy makers to provide policies that promote wellness for the world’s most vulnerable children and families. 

Advocating for what Matters

Nutrition is at the forefront in the effort to provide children an opportunity for healthy growth and development.  Poverty underlines areas where children and families are in grave need of advocacy.  UNICEF (2013) published a report in which supportive strategies target the 1,000 days from conception to two years of age.  The interventions support, and practices help to educate and establish community involvement in the health, wellness, and development of child, family, and thus the community as a whole.  Through community engaged intervention, education goes a long way for everyone.  More importantly, UNICEF members devote precious efforts to move policy and legislations towards effective and proactive measure that can be applied for the long term wellness of their citizens.  It is important to understand that interventions is the guiding force for change, but policy, governmental support, and community involvement must move together to provide the best possible future.  The following is a highlight of key components and interventions of an infant and young child feeding strategy that promotes wellness from the very beginnings of life.


• Marketing of breastmilk substitutes

 • Maternity protection skilled support by the health system •

Curriculum development for IYCF (infant and young child feeding)

• IYCF counseling and other support services

• Capacity development for health providers

 • Institutionalization of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative

Community-based counseling and support

 • Established community-based integrated IYCF counseling services

 • Mother support groups


• Communication for behavior and social change

 Additional complementary feeding options

• Improving the quality of complementary foods through locally available ingredients

• Increasing agricultural production

 • Provision of nutrition supplements and foods

• Social protection schemes

 IYCF in difficult circumstances

• HIV and infant feeding

 • IYCF in emergencies

As with all things UNICEF, research and data help to establish the focus of need in varying communities. The programs, practices and advocacy efforts move forward towards social change by enlightening and educating policy makers of the benefits of change.

Source: UNICEF (2020). Improving child nutrition: The achievable imperative for global progress. https://www.unicef.org/publications/files/Nutrition_Report_final_lo_res_8_April.pdf

Gremi’s Garden: Addressing issues and trends.

            Gremi’s Garden uses information from https://kidsgardening.org.  The purpose of this design is to encourage children to play, explore, discover and collaborate in a common place where creativity and imagination come alive.  Some of their highest achievements for the 2019 year include:

“Our biggest grant application cycle to date, increasing our applicant pool by 54% and distributing over $160,000 in prizes, reaching close to 75,000 kids in 222 garden programs around the country. • A continuation of our partnership with the National Head Start Association and Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation to reach early childhood centers serving some of our most vulnerable, at-risk populations nationwide. • The introduction of Chrysalis, our collaborative online initiative in partnership with national youth garden leaders and sponsors to develop a centralized, interactive, online platform to meet the growing demand for resources, networking, and funding for youth gardens”. (https://kidsgardening.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/annual-report-2019-final.pdf)

            Gardening is a useful tool for addressing concerns of nutrition, and health, encourages and promotes diversity in a way that children can identify with. Caring for a garden naturally encourages stewardship for the environment as well as for each other.  Moreover, when children engage in gardening helps to reduce diet-related illnesses, particularly in children (ie. heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes).  In addition, gardening creates a green space for growing children, directly confronting the decreased play space that has been linked to anxiety and poor mental health.

            Gardening has much to offer young children.  In the hands on participation, children are more likely to absorb the concepts of comprehension as they work the beds using math skills to distance seeds appropriately, and call on working memory to recall lessons pertaining to the project at hand.  They can also become more aware of responsibility and collaboration as they work to care for their creations. Through gardening children become more aware of the animals that surround a garden as well as their respective benefits to the different areas of the garden.

            In the garden there is no judgment, no critics, and no bias. It’s all about our ability to grow with nature, to socialize, to take on leadership roles in an arena that if defined by diversity. The garden provides benefits in support of family relationships, and family engagement in this very unique learning environment.  I encourage you to take a look, what you find may surprise you, or at least provide a path of continuity and inclusion. I have yet to find a topic that cannot be taught through gardening, especially, if the children we teach create a space that is of comfort for them.

Teach children the importance of our environment. We are all connected.

Introducing Lessons to Grow By!

Lessons to Grow By is a FREE four-month program of weekly garden-themed lessons and activities for caregivers teaching at home, or for educators instructing via distance learning. These fun, engaging adventures will be grouped around a monthly theme, featuring three hands-on activities for kids each week with supplemental suggested reading, videos, and more. Lessons to Grow By is aimed at learners in grades 3-5, but the activities can easily be adapted for younger or older audiences.

Lessons to Grow By launches August 31 and is only available by subscriptionSubscribe to Lessons to Grow ByWant a sneak peek of what’s to come? Our educators have carefully chosen the following monthly themes:

September:Pollinators Explore the intricate relationship between pollinators and flowering plants and the important role they play in our world.

October:Plant Parts Take an in depth look at plant parts as we explore these amazing green organisms.

November:Ecosystems Learn about the complex web of life above and below ground and how we all come together to live in our ecosystem.

December:Sensory Exploration End the year on a fun note by using our senses to explore plants in the garden and in the kitchen. Subscribe today!Have a friend or colleague who might be interested? Share here!Copyright © 2020 Kidsgardening.org, All rights reserved.
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Measuring Intelligence

            As all things American, the use of Intelligent Quotient (IQ) testing during the early part of the 20th century was used to categorize individuals based on their intelligence, or more specifically, on the scores revealed by such testing.  In the advent, IQ scores were used in the military for the purpose of identifying individuals and their particular competences in job placement with in the varied roles at the time.  In later years, the IQ tests were used to leverage the position of the Eugenics movement, which held the idea society and prosperity could only rise for particular “stocks” otherwise known as race.  The use of the IQ test during this period gave rise to the assumption that persons challenged with socio economic status and race, particularly of African descent could not be educated because of some biological trait only found within these populations.  As erroneous and embarrassing as these theories are, they provided a gateway for the inception of court ordered sterilization of persons deemed by society as being developmentally disabled, feebleminded, and incapable of intellect (Bouche & Rivard, 2014).

            Fortunately for us, America has moved away from such practices, some which have been deemed unconstitutional, such as administering an IQ test to imprisoned persons burdened with intellectual disabilities, and of course forced sterilization. Current uses of the IQ tests perform well to identify that may need additional services for learning, but the test itself may not be particularly relevant in identifying domains where learning and healthy development may not occur.  Additionally, the Flynn Effect has evidenced that IQ test scores change over time and through generations, suggesting increased literacy, technological advances for education enable a broader audience to score higher than that of previous eras (Berger, 2016). To further evaluate the efficacy and utility of intelligence testing within the Flynn effect, we need to account for the increased availability of educational resources, knowledge of nutrition and the increase in services that provide for the underserved populations, as well as other environmental services that promote more abstract thinking in problem resolution. 

            When thinking of the child as the product of all of its parts, then we can surely understand that the ability to score well in testing is also a product of the society that rears him.  With these inclusions we are more equipped to understand Sternberg’ (1985, 2011) inscription of three general intelligences; analytic, creative, and practical (Berger, 2016, Chapter 11). Brain scans have the ability to further measure aptitude in providing real time activity in the brain, however; scans only reveal activity at the time of the scan and cannot determine or correlate with IQ test scores. Brain scans identify localized hubs which suggest that the different areas have specific utility for developing intelligence through different experiences.

                In essence, IQ testing or intelligence assessment tools inform us within the boundaries of the questions and reactions to the particular inclusions of the assessment.  They cannot fully generate a prognosis for future intelligence nor can they accurately gauge how experiences are processed within each individual child, emotion, self perception, and time of day notwithstanding. Many of the developed nations use IQ assessment tools in order to collect information about the community’s performance and most importantly for the opportunity to express the needs of particular areas.  The following chart allows us to see where intelligence assessment tools are used, however; it is more specific a representation in respect to the Flynn Effect, as where intelligence based on IQ scores, continues to improve over time and dependent on the time the testing were initiated in the particular region (Nagby, n.d.).  The different dates of initiation also give to the understanding that many countries may have had less availability for technology and literacy.

Flynn – world regions

                                   Source: https://ourworldindata.org/intelligence

        To reiterate, these measures are indicative of available data provided through research and do not measure the entire population, nor does it imply that the same assessment or score values were used.  Additionally, assessments for children are different than for adults, however, each may cover different areas such as aptitude, which does not render an accurate view of the examined (Nagby,n.d.) .  If nothing else, the data that comes out of assessments a sure indicators that the world is moving in the right direction towards making the health of our children a product of the competencies within their societies.


Berger, K., S. (2016). The Developing Childhood. (7th Ed). Worth Publisher.

Bouche, T., & Rivard, L. (2014). Genetics Generation:  America’s Hidden History. https://www.nature.com/scitable/forums/genetics-generation/america-s-hidden-history-the-eugenics-movement-123919444/

Nagby, M. (n.d.). Intelligence. https://ourworldindata.org/intelligence

Take Time to Create a Stress-free Space

Alan Titchmarsh: The importance of relaxing in your graden ...

Stress is one of those double edged swords. It is a great evolutionary response that triggers the fight or flight mechanism in the brain. It keeps us in tune for dangers in unfamiliar settings and situations. It exaggerates happy emotions of surprise, and of the nervous anticipation of things to come. Unfortunately, stress in large doses is toxic. Gestational women can flood their unborn babies with high levels of stress hormones, that can often lead to premature deliveries and sadly, miscarriages. Infants experiencing long term stress are prone to maladaptive brain functions, cognitive, social and emotional issues, some which may prevail well into adulthood, and others that cause permanent damage. We must shield ourselves from the influence of stress with protective factors, and coping skills that will help to manage difficult situations, even those that are out of our control.

Gardening is my relaxation therapy (no surprise there). But no matter where I am, or what I am doing, I take the time to immerse myself in the language of nature. Laying on the lawn and just staring at the sky gives my brain just enough of a break to recenter. At home, I use a kiddie pool, tropical plants, a beach chair and an umbrella to unwind while sipping on a fruit smoothie and collect my thoughts. Find your favorite relaxation music and allow yourself a break. I like walking near water, and I often take a moment to feel the currents on my toes. Whether you are a garden enthusiast or just enjoy the organized chaos in the wild, take time to breath and what better place than to be surrounded by the thing that produces an unadulterated abundance of oxygen.