Welcome to the KIDS GROWING STRONG website!

Established in 2001 with initial funding from a grant from Shell Oil Company and donations from a group of dedicated gardeners, Kids Growing Strong (KGS) is an educational enrichment program that today reaches tens of thousands of children and their families each year.

Kids Growing Strong …resources to help prepare kids for a happy, healthy & strong life

We Make Fresh Fruits And Veggies Fun For Kids...

We make fresh fruits and veggies fun for kids...


discovering the world of plants...


by playing in the dirt...


creating an interest and respect for plant life...


which is important because or lives depend upon plants...


for good health...


for a good life...


...and for sheer joy.


Fruits and veggies can be lots of fun...


as well as delicious to eat...


and fun to prepare.


You never know...


a new chef may sprout in the garden!


Plants brighten our lives...


and give us a chance to share with our families.


Kids love gardens


Watching plants grow...


using all the senses to learn


...is an enjoyable way to learn the many things they will need to know.


The future is in there hands.


Help us to ensure it will be a strong and healthy future.

Who are we?

2008 07 25 Kgs Sacramento Hg Show Img 1434

We are your neighbors!

They say “It takes a village to raise a child.”

—African proverb

We are the village.

We are curious people with a passion for lifelong learning and a love of nature and the deep desire to help those around us  catch the spirit that brightens our lives…

We are gardeners.

The program took seed in a public garden in Thousand Oaks, California, the Conejo Valley Botanic Gardens and has flourished under the care of California Garden Clubs, Inc., the statewide federation of garden clubs in California representing over 20,000 California gardeners when the program was started. Since its inception in 2001, the program has spread to include people from all walks of life. Mentors from communities throughout California have enlisted to support the program. Leaders are being recruited, trained and equipped with the tools they need to ensure the next generation of children will grow to be healthy, well-educated and strong. Parents of children of every age are encouraged to take a proactive approach toward the education, health and the well-being of every child within their reach. The skills that people need to master  life are changing. Children need to discover the joy of learning, of simple curiosity, and of invention. They must experience new approaches to learning that are inquiry based, collaborative, and perhaps even virtual. To remain literate and maintain good health, children will need to learn every day for the rest of their lives. The people and programs of Kids Growing Strong aim to help children create their own foundation of skills, knowledge and inspiration; a launch pad that will rocket them on a path of discovery that will last a lifetime.

Our Educational Philosphy

We believe that children can best create meaning and make sense of their world experience in the real-world, encounters with material objects, through relationships between people, and exposure to new ideas and the ways of considering and expressing ideas. Based upon a respectful image of every child as capable and competent and a constructor of their own knowledge, Kids Growing Strong approaches each child as resourceful, curious, imaginative and inventive individual possessing a desire to interact and communicate with others. In the words of Chris Wink, founder of the Blue Man Group, “on a metaphorical level, the traditional model of education is that children are freight cars and the school is a grain silo. It fills each of the kids up and then moves them down the track.” The programs developed by Kids Growing Strong aim to help children create their own foundation of skills, knowledge and inspiration; a launch pad that will rocket them on a path of discovery that will last a lifetime.

The Core Kids Growing Strong Team

Maryanne Lucas, Founder & Executive Director Sue Bennett, Secretary/Treasurer, Administrative Coordinator Pamela Stoyka-Bishop, Website & Cloud Applications