2.16.2021 Gratitude, Mindfulness & Spring Semester

Gratitude for Susan

We want to offer our gratitude to Susan Oddsen for her years of service, knowledge sharing and dedication to school garden programs.  This month Susan made the difficult decision to resign from her position as the GROW La Crescent-Hokah Elementary Program Director / Garden Educator, in order to focus on her work at the La Crescent Food Shelf and finding a healthy work and family life balance.

Susan was integral in the start of the La Crescent-Hokah Elementary School Garden in 2012, because she wanted students and the community to have a school garden program. She ran the garden program as a volunteer for 5 years, then partnered with GROW in the 6th year (2018).  She has brought so much wisdom, not only to her students, but to all of us.  Her passion will be missed.  

We are glad to know she will continue to be a resource and neighbor cheering on school gardens.  We wish her well as she continues the good work of connecting her community with nourishment and endeavors to find the healthy life balance we all need to strive for.

Thank you, Susan!

Here is a message Susan wanted to share with the school community:  
“I wanted to thank you all so much for all the years you’ve worked with me with garden lessons, taste tests and then with GROW garden lessons. Without your support and flexibility, we wouldn’t have been able to do so much over the years with our school garden. It has been such a wonderful experience to grow this program from two small 4′ x 4′ beds into a fully functioning school garden program. We saw how much the students enjoyed the garden lessons and growing and harvesting food. I was glad that our school decided to partner with GROW in 2018, for operation and guidance. Working with GROW, school garden programs can become stronger and more stable. My goal was to make sure that this program would continue without me. Although it was surprisingly hard to leave this position,  I have confidence in GROW staff and leadership – I feel that the garden program is in great hands. I will miss working with you and the students, but will look forward to seeing you in the garden when I’m working at the Food Shelf.”  ~Susan

We look forward to our continued collaboration in “connecting children to healthy food and nature.”
Mindful Minutes

Nutrition and Sustainability Education Intern, Jordan has been sharing mindfulness exercises in a series entitled, “Mindful Minutes.”  These short video tutorials, which can be found on our Facebook page and website, are meant to provide you with an opportunity to spend a few minutes practicing mindfulness activities that can be done by anyone, anywhere.  

Mindfulness, therapeutic technique, is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.  There are physical and mental health benefits to being mindful.  For these reasons we incorporate mindfulness activities into our garden lessons.  Enjoy learning these techniques with us as you participate in a “Mindful Minute” with GROW.
Intern Highlight
This month we kicked off the start of the semester for our spring interns. We are so grateful for our partnerships with area universities to foster our robust internship program. Meet Autumn our University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Public Health Preceptor for the spring semester.

Hello everyone! My name is Autumn Boik and I am from Mankato, Minnesota. I am a senior at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, and I am studying Public and Community Health Education. If I had to choose my favorite fruit or vegetable, it would have to be a watermelon! I am so excited to be a part of the team at GROW this semester because I am very passionate about nutrition education, working with kids and love the hands-on environment that GROW offers. As an intern I am ready to further my understanding of nutrition education, as well as bring new ideas to the table. 

Welcome to the GROW Team, Autumn!  We are excited to learn and grow along with you.