Early Childhood Education

At the Farm & in the Classroom

Evergreen’s garden-based programs use age-appropriate sensory exploration to introduce concepts and encourage appreciation for the outdoors.

Head Start Preschool & Pre-K Growing in the Garden

Designed for children in Head Start Preschool & Pre-K, this program serves approximately 260 children (14 classes) at all seven centers in Allegany County. The children are brought to the Evergreen farm for a half-day field trip, and Evergreen educators visit each class to deliver additional reinforcing programs ranging from seed and vegetable discovery to wildlife exploration. From creating Seed Houses to planting Garden Window boxes, children gain a better understanding of how their world works.

Judy Center Preschool & Pre-K Growing in the Garden Year Round

This year-long program serves 75 children at Allegany County Judy Centers. Children visit Evergreen in the fall and spring for field trips. They enjoy two in-class programs delivered by Evergreen educators where they plant a classroom window box and sprout seeds, and teachers are provided with extension kits that introduce key concepts. In addition, they (and their parents) experience Family Fun Nights where they create vegetable dips and salad dressings, plant a spring window box, shop at a fall farmer’s market, and get moving with Western Maryland Health System’s nutrition program.

Kindergarten Garden Discovery

Currently serving two Title I schools, this year-long program seeks to influence children’s preferences for and the consumption of healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables. Children visit Evergreen in the fall and spring for field trips. The program boasts a schoolyard garden component and teacher classroom extension kits designed by Evergreen educators. In addition, students (and their parents) experience Family Fun Nights as well as quarterly healthy eating-themed lunches.

Second Grade – West Side Elementary

Tailored for West Side’s Chinese Immersion program, Evergreen annually hosts one class of 25-30 students twice a year for full-day field trips. Evergreen maintains a special Chinese vegetable garden, and lessons involve harvesting, art experiences, and spring planting activities.