The GrowHaus and BEEs in the Garden partnered with a group of early educators and families of young children from the Northeast Denver region in the development of an early
gardening and nutrition curriculum. The BEEs curriculum is a framework for engaging and experiential learning with young children, families and teachers that nurtures the commitment to the garden as a place for learning and development and that ultimately leads to positive changes in a community’s healthy eating patterns.

To best support a deep attachment to healthy eating, a life-long love of the earth, and a caring for living things, young children must experience and authentically connect to the garden and to the healthy food that the garden yields. In addition to providing access to healthy food, a right of ALL children, the garden becomes an engaging learning environment that nurtures enduring understandings about life, diversity, community, caring and creativity. Working within the GrowHaus’ mission of food justice we encouraged the children to think about what it means to be healthy and listen to their bodies.

Educators and families worked together to engage young children the importance of slowing down and connecting with their natural world. While the parents were learning in the Micro-Farming class about creating a healthy environment, the children were learning alongside them in the BEEs project. Each day families ate a healthy meal, and talked about their day and what they learned. The children were often excited to share their learning with the parents, taking them to parts of the environment where they spent the day exploring.

Grounded in six Big Ideas we watched the children grow and change into more compassionate and caring individuals who were more curious about the food they eat and where it comes from. We saw the children become leaders and experts and share their knowledge with the other children and adults. A curriculum that encourages children to be curious about their health, their environment and the world in which we live is of utmost importance in food insecure communities. We built that foundation at the GrowHaus during the Summer of 2016.


Big Ideas and Enduring Understandings

Community and Culture

Compassion and Caring

Mindfulness and Movement

Health and Nutrition

Senses and the Seasons

Creativity and Expression


In the fall we will continue to embrace the Big Ideas to guide our work with the children and families and build on the knowledge and understandings we discovered this summer. Our genuine hope is to continue to expand this project in Northeast Denver, Denver and eventually across the state.



 Article by Buell Leader Jenna Augustine and BECLP Faculty Member Lori Ryan



Below are photos of the BECLN activity "playing cards" that were used at the July, 2016 Buell Leaders Retreat to facilitate discussions about the activities we have engaged in as a Network and lessons learned along the way.  More detailed information about the history of the Network, our development since 2012, and our current strengths and challenges as a Network can be found in the Document Analysis Evaluation completed by the Evaluation Center at the University of Colorado Denver.

“Who Is In Your Personal Boardroom?” is filled with wonderful content, as long as you have the patience to overlook the bad editing throughout. It would be a great tool to use while in the Buell Early Childhood Leadership Program to give you some assistance/mentorship along your leadership journey.

The authors give you the option of reading the first chapter for a high-level overview, or the entire book for a more in-depth look at the concepts and reasoning. It would depend on the amount of time you have to dedicate to this concept of a “boardroom”, but overall, it is easy to understand and a quick and worthwhile read. Below is the quick overview of the book.

The authors point out 5 easy steps to creating your personal boardroom:

1.     Define what your boardroom is for?

a.     Do you want to become the best leader you can be?

b.     Do you want to pursue a specific challenge/problem/or transition?

c.     Define what your purpose is as a leader?

2.     Choose 6-12 people for your boardroom

a.     Ask yourself 3 questions

                                               i.     Who should be in my boardroom? Obvious to include

                                             ii.     Who could be in my boardroom? Identify as valuable

                                            iii.     Who might be in my boardroom? Unusual possibilities

3.     Assign roles to the members of your boardroom

a.     Customer Voice: helps  you understand markets, customers, and business opportunities

b.     Expert: gives advice based on their sector, or challenge-specific expertise

c.     Inspirer: Inspires new ideas and brings fresh thinking

d.     Navigator: tells you what you need to know, who does what and how things work

e.     Unlocker: provides access to resources

f.      Sponsor: One that speaks out to endorse you and your ideas to important people

g.     Influencer: Works behind the scenes to win support, helps you get things done

h.     Connector: Makes introductions and connects you with people who can help you

i.      Improver: Gives candid, constructive feedback on your performance/development

j.      Challenger: questions your decisions/thinking and assists you to see your mistakes/blind spots

k.     Nerve Giver: Strengthens your resolve when things get difficult, gives you a sense of purpose

l.      Anchor: Keeps you grounded, reminds you to have balance in your life between work and your personal life

4.     Have conversations

a.     This book does a great job of giving examples of how to start conversations with each person/role within your boardroom.

b.     It should not be tough to sell people on being in your boardroom. They should believe in what it is that you are doing or trying to accomplish, ultimately, they believe in you.

5.     Give back

a.     Offer to help others, be an initiator of generosity.