The Summer of 2021 marks the beginning of what we hope will be a long and fruitful relationship with the Ellsworth Public Library to provide nutrition education and hunger prevention education to the Ellsworth community. This partnership between the library, the Hunger Prevention Council, and University of Wisconsin Extension began with story time sessions in the garden at the Pierce County Food Pantry. Here is what our summer Garden Coordinator, Abby Hassing, had to say about it:
"This summer I had the awesome opportunity to partner with the Ellsworth Public Library and conduct a couple of storytimes for the younger children ages 0-5. Both times were a lot of fun and we were able to teach the kids valuable lessons on the importance of nutrition and taking care of their bodies. The first storytime in July I read ten children the book Up, Down, and Around which talks about the different directions in which vegetables grow. For the vegetables that grew up like corn we stood up tall, for the ones that grow down like carrots we squatted down low, and the ones that grow all around like cucumbers we turned around once. Then we had the children describe and taste test cherry tomatoes. Along with this, they were taught what is needed for plants to grow including water, sunlight, and dirt, and each child enjoyed planting their own cherry tomato seed. Both the children and the parents enjoyed these learning activities!
In August we had another storytime at the food pantry. This time five children attended and I read them the story My Amazing Body: A First Look at Health and Fitness. This book explained some of the key elements that are important for keeping our bodies healthy including nutrition, exercise, and sleep. The children then participated in an activity where we tossed a MyPlate beach ball to each other. Each section had a different food group and whatever section their thumb landed on they had to think of a food representing that group. One little boy landed on the grains food group and said "noodles" because that is his favorite food! Then we had the children taste test green peppers and I cut one open for them to see the seeds. They thought it was pretty neat. The children's favorite part of the night is when we had them use ends of celery, carrots, and green peppers to paint with! They loved it! One of the little girls kept asking us what colors she had to mix in order to get purple and pink. Then she was using the celery end to stamp purple roses on her paper! When she was finished she said "Here you go. This one is for you as a thank you for the storytime." She was so sweet. I also helped her younger brother use the other end of the celery to stamp with. He said "Look I'm making blue little rainbows!"
Overall, we all had a lot of fun with these storytimes. The children and their excitement during the different activities made my day!"