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Brianna’s Scholarship Story

How has ICG’s scholarship impacted your family?

The scholarship program has allowed our family to participate in Playful Nature Explorers. When Alfie started last January, my husband was the only person employed in our family as a teacher, and not a big salary. It was really exciting for Alfie to participate, and that was her first group experience as she was a pandemic baby. It was a good age for her to have her own life, to experience things happening out of the home and for us parents to have a break.

The scholarship has made it possible for us to continue sending her and she is loving the time she is spending there. We would definitely be financially strained without the assistance we are receiving.

What does your child get out of participating in ICG’s program?

A really awesome kid experience. It’s such a good program. She was really shy or conflict avoidant, really uncomfortable with issues that came up with other kids. Once she started at the garden, she learned how to be with other kids, which is invaluable. She’s really comfortable being outside and in nature and the opportunity to learn these skills of how to be a person in a world with other people in a context that’s comfortable for her is so awesome. She has become so aware of kids all having slightly different needs; that some people feel uncomfortable in certain situations. She’ll tell me so and so was sad and that she did this to help them feel better or that she was feeling sad and one of her garden friends helped her feel better by doing such and such.

She is also learning a lot of garden-specific content from her experience at the Garden. We’ll be at home and she’ll say, “this is what we do with the carrots at ICG” or she’ll want to show me where the fennel is growing at ICG. She has a very unique and caring view of the world from farming and gardening and caring for baby chickens to taking care of each other.

It’s a little world that I’m so grateful that exists and that my child has daily experiences of getting dirty, having fun, and taking care of the world. She’ll say things like, “We can’t smoosh these bugs because they are beneficial, but these ticks, we can squish those.” The garden is so special. I love the stories she brings home like the beads that Kelsey hides in the sandbox for the children to find or what the bees are doing. It’s a very cool place to be a kid. It’s a really good place we’re really lucky to have it here.

Do you see ICG translating to other areas of your child’s life? If so, how?

Her experience at ICG translates to other areas of her life. She has an awareness of her place in the world and in nature that is not something from her dad or I. It definitely feels Jason specific or Kesley specific, just really sweet ways of understanding that she is a steward of the earth and she has this responsibility to help make things better. For example, she always wants to pick up garbage when she sees it.

 Mostly, she’s learning that she’s a person who has a responsibility for the earth. I think that’s a cool thing that Jason and Kelsey help the kids understand that they have to use their powers for good, rather than to chase the chickens or leave messes.

How did you first learn about ICG’s scholarship program?

 I found out about the scholarship program online. I found out that there was a food stamp rate that was within reach for our family. When we did the tour, I talked to Kelsey and she explained the scholarship program further, and that the point of it is that no child would miss out because of financial circumstances. That was so cool, really very generous. 

Anything we can do to improve ICG’s scholarship program?

No. It’s so accessible. From my first experience meeting Kelsey and hearing about the program and hearing that tuition assistance is available, without the onerous process often required, so it is as painless as possible.

 I don’t think it can get better than it is. It was always clear. There’s no barrier to requesting or applying for it. I think ICG is making it really possible for people who need aid to get it. It seems like a pretty great system.

Anything else?

We really love the Garden! 

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