Read and seed

community garden & interpretive learning center

Join us!

Read and Seed is a Summer hybrid learning series where we offer classes both virtually and in our outdoor classroom, the Interpretive Learning Center. Read and Seed blends Health Literacy and Parent Literacy into a high-energy series where participants learn about:

  • Growing fruits and vegetables  
  • Healthy and delicious recipes 
  • Fun, food-related family activities
  • Writing poetry 

Class is free and open to all KLC learners. Parents are encouraged to attend with their children so they can learn together. We will have fun learning tips and strategies for keeping families living healthier lives. 

In the garden, we’re growing Ace peppers, Big Beef tomatoes, eggplant, mustard greens, strawberries, and so much more. We even have sunflowers and a butterfly garden!

Each class includes an interactive lesson with engaging activities, vocabulary exercises, and group discussions. Each participant will receive a free tote bag filled with books, materials, and activities. Our book club book is “Seedfolks” which we will read and discuss one chapter each week.

Book club: “Seedfolks” by Paul Fleischman
Listen to the audiobook

“A Vietnamese girl plants six lima beans in a Cleveland vacant lot. Looking down on the immigrant-filled neighborhood, a Romanian woman watches suspiciously. A school janitor gets involved, then a Guatemalan family. Then muscle-bound Curtis, trying to win back Lateesha. Pregnant Maricela. Amir from India. A sense of community sprouts and spreads. 

Newbery-winning author Paul Fleischman uses 13 speakers to bring to life a community garden’s founding and first year. The book’s short length, diverse cast, and suitability for adults as well as children have led it to be used in countless one-book reads in schools and in cities across the country.

Seedfolks has been drawn upon to teach tolerance, read in ESL classes, promoted by urban gardeners, and performed in schools and on stages from South Africa to Broadway.”


Class session: May 21st – August 13th

Join anytime! 

Online: Fridays, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. via Webex.   

In-person: Thursdays & Fridays in the garden, by appointment only. Sign up here.

Learners are asked to attend the virtual class in order to continue their lessons in the outdoor classroom.

  • Appointments are 1-hour blocks from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m
  • Masks are optional outdoors
  • Social distancing will be observed  

meet your instructor

Lauren Kiesling

Health & Parent Literacy Navigator

Lauren is responsible for coordinating our multi-generational learning programs that helps parents become more engaged in their children’s learning. We are so excited to have her on our team! Please contact her via email or at (269) 348-0480 for information about Parent Literacy Together, Read and Seed, or for other support for adult learners who are parents.

Lauren grew up in Kalamazoo, but moved away in 2015 to attend Central Michigan University. Now she’s back and ready to build and grow with us. When not with the KLC, she loves to hike, camp, and listen to podcasts. Lauren says she loves this community and is looking forward to working alongside everyone in the years to come!  

2021 lessons: "Seedfolks"

Class One: Kim
Class Two: Ana
Class Three: Wendell
Class Four: Gonzalo 
Class Five: Leona 

Check out these photos from 2020 and 2021, where we updated the garden to use as an outdoor classroom for Covid-safe learning in a beautiful setting. Last year, the main garden had squash, collards, watermelon, and strawberries. The smaller beds hosted green peppers and tomatoes. This year, we’ve added corn, eggplant, sunflowers, and a butterfly garden. Classroom features include socially distanced seating, whiteboards, and chalkboards.

2020 Session one lessons

Read and Seed Class One: Welcome to Health Literacy
Read and Seed Class Two: Garden Fun and Healthy Cooking
Read and Seed Class Three: Garden Fun, Healthy Cooking, and Easy Exercises
Read and Seed Class Four: Garden Fun, Healthy Cooking, and SNAP Education

2020 session two lessons

Read and Seed Class One: Welcome back!
Read and Seed Class Two: Budget-friendly and nutritious?
Read and Seed Class Three: Meal Planning
Read and Seed Class Four: Getting healthy with fruits and veggies

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Kalamazoo Literacy Council is a member organization of ProLiteracy. 

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