Therapeutic garden helps children to grow

Special to the Daily News

The children at Kingswood School and Home for Children proved kids don’t just like playing in the dirt; they love to work in it too. Through a grant and partnership with Second Harvest of East Tennessee, Kingswood created the Second Harvest Therapeutic Garden Program on their campus in Bean Station, Tennessee. The program aims to not only provide a new source of fresh and healthy food for the children, but to also engage the children in the therapeutic benefits of working a garden from planting to harvesting.

The Planting Grand Opening of the therapeutic garden was held in May when volunteers from the Woodlake Golf Community, Bob Winstead, a Kingswood neighbor, and the Kingswood staff helped nearly 20 resident children to plan the garden. Angela Stout, residential services director stated “I was so blessed to see the children participating in planting the garden on Saturday. There was a common sense of eagerness and accomplishment among all the children. A great team effort!”

The grant of $1,500 from Second Harvest of East Tennessee allowed for the creation of the garden and weekly educational gardening activities throughout the summer. The main purpose of the program is to provide a peaceful, non-competitive and personally gratifying experience for the children as they increase Kingwoods’ access to fresh and healthy foods. The UT Extension Program is also a partner of this project, as they assigned Anthony Carver, county director as a consultant/advisor to the program. Carver was instrumental preparing for the planting of the garden and also plans to provide educational activities to the children during the summer.

“Seeing the interaction and teamwork among the volunteers and our children was amazing, and the children continue to talk about how fun it will be to work and care for the garden throughout the summer. The life skills that will be developed through this garden will go a long way in preparing the children to become independent, self-sustaining and successful adults someday, stated Kingswood Director Brian Shahinian.

Kingswood School and Home for Children is a not-for-profit organization providing residential, educational and treatment services to abandoned, neglected or abused children through a Christian home environment. Since 1943, Kingswood School and Home for Children has successfully prepared children to become responsible and successful adults.

To find out more on how you can support the mission of Kingswood School, Inc., contact Shahinian at 865-767-2121 or visit

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