Growing Through Gardening: Emmanuel Bambokile
Global Gardens is an inquiry-based program for elementary school children that teaches about science, peace, health and the environment through planning and cultivating gardens. In the process, students gain confidence and develop skills to become caring, engaged community members. Emmanuel Bambokile participates in Global Gardens at Rosa Parks Elementary in the Union School District. Global Gardens provides weekly school programming for all students, and an after-school program for students in 3rd – 5th grades.
TK: What do you do in Global Gardens, and how long have you been involved after school?
Emmanuel: I started in 3rd grade and now I’m in 5th. We have a snack and some hang-out time in Community Circle. In Community Circle we talk about ourselves. You can just be you. You grow to know people. There’s no judgement. It’s a life-changing experience where we grow and learn.
TK: What is one of the main things you’ve learned in Community Circle?
Emmanuel: Respect. My parents taught me respect, but it’s nice to learn it in a new place. I use it in and out of school. Respect will help us go further in life.
TK: What else do you do in Global Gardens?
Emmanuel: We have discussion time where we talk about plans and what we want to do in the garden. We’ll have an idea and make a decision based on how everybody feels. We respect each other’s feelings. We come from different homes, and other people may do things differently or have different views. We hear them out about their opinion, and I may change mine.
I used to make decisions based only on what I wanted, and I feel Global Gardens has taught me to listen to others and compromise.
TK: What is one of the best things you’ve learned in Global Gardens?
Emmanuel: I’ve learned to try things and not give up. And it’s fun. We have teachers who care.
TK: What are some other things you think you’ve gained by being part of Global Gardens?
Emmanuel: You don’t have to worry about what people are going to think about you. It’s a calming place.
TK: Do you have a garden at home?
Emmanuel: My parents are from Africa, and we have a garden at home. We grow African veggies. Potatoes, green beans, watermelons.
TK: Do you have other hobbies besides gardening?
Emmanuel: I play soccer, and I like to chill with friends and family. In soccer, I like to know my teammates and support my teammates. It’s the same concepts from Global Gardens.
TK: What’s a fun fact about you?
Emmanuel: I like to spend time with my family. I like to annoy my siblings (Emmanuel has two older siblings, and he said this with a big grin).