Stories about poverty, famine, and food shortages are often in the news. Can one person, even one child, make a difference? A new children’s book,” The Good Garden: How One Family Went from Hunger to Having Enough (Kids Can Press)”, gives kids a way to understand these stories and learn what they can do to help. Written by author and non-profit consultant Katie Smith Milway, the book raises kids’ awareness of the important global issue of food security, one of the eight United Nations Millennium Development Goals to end poverty by the year 2015.
The Good Garden is the story of one poor farming family in Honduras, who, like their neighbors, cannot be sure they will have enough to eat. When a new teacher comes to town, young Maria learns new farming methods and ways to sell the crops at market that help give her family greater food security. As Maria’s neighbors see the success of her family’s “good garden,” the new practices spread through the community. The Good Garden is a fictionalized story inspired by the work of teacher Don El?as Sanchez, who devoted his life to improving the lot of small farmers in Honduras.
Seventy-five percent of the poor in developing nations are farmers like Maria and her family. Without food security, these farmers not only lack food — they also lack money for necessities such as health care and school uniforms and often become trapped in a cycle of poverty.
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In addition to Maria’s story, The Good Garden includes facts about world hunger and information about non-profit organizations that help poor farmers. Kids also learn how they can make a difference by volunteering, fundraising, creating their own gardens, and taking political action. Learn more at www.thegoodgarden.org, an interactive website built in partnership with educational nonprofit One Hen Inc..
The Good Garden is another book in Kids Can Press’ CitizenKid(TM) collection for children ages 8 to 12. These books explain complex global issues and inspire young readers to become better global citizens. The collection includes Katie Smith Milway’s award-winning
book about microloans, One Hen, as well as books about global community, biodiversity, and water conservation, such as If America Were a Village, If the World Were a Village, Tree of Life, and One Well. Teachers can find resource materials for every book in the CitizenKid collection (available at www.kidscanpress.com).
Author Katie Smith Milway is a non-profit consultant who has coordinated community development programs in Latin America and Africa for Food for the Hungry International and was a delegate to the 1992 Earth Summit. She is author of the award-winning Kids Can Press children’s book One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference and co-founder of One Hen Inc., a nonprofit organization that uses microfinance stories, interactive games and downloadable classroom resources to give children experience in financial responsibility and giving back. Katie’s adult book on sustainable development, The Human Farm: A Tale of Changing Lives and Changing Lands, documents the work of Don El?as Sanchez and Milton Flores. Don El?as is the model for the teacher in The Good Garden.
Sylvie Daigneault has done illustration work for clients ranging from the Metropolitan Transit Authority of New York to the Royal Canadian Mint, and many magazines and corporations. This is her thirteenth children’s book.