The Children’s Museum of Oswego teaches the Power of Produce at the Oswego Farmer’s Market
This summer, The Children’s Museum of Oswego (also known as CMOO) is taking learning though play and hands-on activities to a whole new level with the Power of Produce program. CMOO visits the Oswego Farmer’s Market on a bi-weekly basis and has a new activity each week focusing on food preparation nutrition, gardening, composting, creating art with food, meeting local chefs and farmers, and more.
“The Power of Produce Programs seems to encourage healthier eating habits, open up a dialogue about nutrition, teach children about different types of produce and ultimately pique their curiosity about where their food comes from,” said Jill Shaver, CMOO Executive Director.
CMOO had a great response from their first week of POP at the Oswego Farmer’s Market. 75 children participated and learned about planting seeds and how their food grows from a seed to a plant.
The first time a child participates in the weekly activity they first receive a “Passport to Health” which they bring with them each following week when they participate in POP activities. Children then receive a $2 token that can be used to purchase produce from local farmers at the Farmer’s Market.
These activities allow children to use and practice what they have learned at the CMOO tent, hopefully leading to healthy food choices in the future.
CMOO will be at the Oswego Farmer’s Market on July 3, 17, and 21 with POP programs and activities.
CMOO will also be in the Novelis Family Park at Franklin (West) Park during Harborfest. They will have 15 interactive exhibits that allow children to explore, learn, and play. A new exhibit, Imagination Playground, will also be set up.
“Imagination Playground is a block system based on the concept of free-play, the idea that children should initiate and direct their own play and manipulate their environment,” Shaver said. “Free play enhances creative, open-ended interaction for a child’s cognitive, social, physical, and emotional development.”
As they expect participation to grow, CMOO is seeking additional sponsors for the program to ensure that there is adequate funding to present activities and put fresh, local produce into the hands of our community’s youth. Those interested in becoming a sponsor or volunteering may contact Director Jillian Shaver at 315-326-1110.