2014 Review

As we take a look back over 2014, we realize that there is much to celebrate. Here are a few examples of how our program has grown this past year:

Our Community Garden

At Morning Garden, we believe in a holistic approach to nutrition. In February, we built planting beds, prepared the soil and planted seedlings. Our preschoolers participate in all aspects of the process. They assist in planting, harvesting and care of the garden as well as in class education regarding seeds, germination and use of the vegetables and herbs. They love eating the harvest. The mothers, not only assist their children in the garden, but they also assist in the preparation of the harvest soon after it is picked. On the last Wednesday of every month the participants and staff prepare a brunch from scratch and we all eat together, often with as many as 50 people, young and old. It is a favorite time for our preschoolers. Here is one of the recipes that was popular this summer when we harvested  our zucchini.     

  garden carlita                                                                                                                                                                         garden iangardening matthew

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learning English and Computer Skills At Morning Garden, we have a special English and computer program whereby every adult participant is able to work at their own level. Unlike traditional programs where everyone is divided by their various levels in terms of competence, we are able to integrate and actually thrive with participants working at various levels. Some of our participants have had very little education and while others arrive with much more education. Our “Reading Workshop” books enable everyone to work individually at their own level with individual attention given by two staff members. Additionally, they work together to improve their writing and verbal skill through a variety of group and individual exercises. We believe that the health and well-being of the entire community always comes first, and for this reason, no one is left behind. Additionally, we have a computer lab where participants are learning ……

Our Social Enterprise

We were so happy to learn that our social enterprise profit was the same amount during the holidays alone as the profits for the entire year of 2013. We expanded into new markets in 2014. The Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) in Long Beach began selling our bird (“Bird of Hope”) and calavera (Day of the Dead skull) ornaments in the summer and they reordered twice for the holidays. We also sold many of our hand-crafted items at the Bowers Museum monthly community event. Zinc Café and Market in Corona del Mar and Laguna Beach re-ordered our calavera and bird ornaments for the 4th year in a row. We are so happy that they once again sold out during the fall and holiday season. Fuller Theological Seminary (Irvine campus) is another new vendor. They sold out of our of our “Bird of Hope” ornaments during the holidays. We really appreciate the ongoing and new support from our vendors. In 2014, a concerted effort was made to turn over the responsibilities of our social enterprise to our participants. They learned how to create individual inventory records, track sales, in some cases meet with vendors, take responsibility for the sales and explore new ideas together. Our amount of program participants doubled in 2014 and we were so happy to see how everyone assisted the new people with their special embroidery techniques.. 80 percent of all of the proceeds go to our program participants and 20 percent is used for materials. Our holiday sales enabled our participants to enjoy a more celebratory holiday season. Muchas Gracias!

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Summer During the summer our participants’ older children join us for an additional program geared for the elementary aged children. They participates in crafts, games, reading workshop, sports and cooking. They really enjoy this special time every summer at Morning Garden. In August, for the 4th year in a row we head to the beach with all our families and their older children for a lively beach day. This year 60 of us headed to Big Corona Beach for the day to relax, chat, swim and enjoy the food that everyone brought to share. A great time was had by all. During the last week of program before our August break, we celebrate our preschool graduates and adult participants with a celebratory graduation, barbeque and potluck. Each preschool graduate and their parent receive a diploma as well as words of praise and encouragement from the staff. We have followed the progress of our former graduates and are happy to report that they are thriving in elementary. At Morning Garden, we stay in touch with our former graduates and often invite them to join us for various celebrations.

Thank You

The Morning Garden program wishes to thank all of the following supporters without whom none of our growth as a community program would be possible:IMG_4329

 

 

 

 

 

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