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Grow Ahead Program

The Grow Ahead Program's sustainable gardening initiative exists in support of the Community Child Guidance Clinic’s mission to assist and support children with emotional and behavioral issues, through providing a sustainable source of nutritious food, a space for our clinicians and teachers to offer programming, and the support to develop healthy relationships with food and nature through hands-on education. 

With the increase in food scarcity, we found it critical to create a sustainable source of healthy fruits and vegetables that our children could eat. Inequitable access to nutritious diets can have negative influences over the health and behavior of any child, but can especially be detrimental to children who already have other mental and behavioral health issues. In an effort to introduce these concepts at CCGC, our students have been learning to plant, harvest, and compost, all while also creating new nutritious recipes with the greens grown on our indoor grow rack system. Coming in May 2021, we will be expanding into our new Growing Spaces greenhouse and outdoor garden space as we continue to build upon our program goals.

Program goals:

Through careful research, we have developed a sustainable gardening program that functions to benefit our children in the following areas:

  • Support for existing therapeutic practices and improved outcomes 
  • Experiential learning opportunities related to sustainability and the outdoors
  • Immediate and long term nutritional benefits of seed-to-plate organic gardening 
  • Help the community-at-large by donating harvests to local food pantries


Victory Garden

Aside from giving our harvests to the children at CCGC, we have also made donations to local food pantries. With that, CCGC is proud to annouce that we have been officially designated as a CT Victory Garden. Started during World War I, the Victory Garden Movement called on Americans to grow food in anywhere possible as nothing was more valuable than self-sufficiency. Since then, Victory Gardens have become a tool that can be used to help feed communities in a time of need.


Check out our first official harvest with students!


You can be a part of building this new program for the benefit of many children for generations to come! Right now, we are offering an engraved brick program for donors that help us to build our outdoor garden space at our 317 North Main Street location. For $50, you can purchase a brick to be added to our garden path, and forever commemorate the moment that we all came together as a community to create a beautiful, therapeutic and educational space for children struggling with mental health and special education needs.

Thanks to our donors, including those who choose to purchase a brick for our pathway, we will be able to add things to our garden such as:

  • patio space with seating for therapy sessions or classroom activities
  • additional raised bed gardens at all heights to accommodate students and adult staff and volunteers of all abilities
  • new plants and planting supplies to regularly refresh and reinvigorate the indoor gardens in our greenhouse
  • functional and inclusive equipment and structures such as a wheelchair ramp for our greenhouse, and fencing for safety and security
  • a functional and self-sustaining koi pond that will help teach STEM concepts, responsibility, and a respect for nature
  • an outdoor chalkboard and wash station to facilitate experiential learning and lessons in the garden

....and more great things to come! Click the button below to be a part of our growing garden when you purchase an engraved brick today! 

*We will be in touch with our brick donors as soon as possible after purchase in order to collect your choice of inscription! To make a regular donation (in any amount) towards the Grow Ahead Program, or any program at CCGC, please visit our donation page via the button at the upper right corner of this screen! 

To learn more about donating and for any questions, please contact Marketing and Outreach Coordinator, Molly Getchell at 860-643-2101 ext. 217, or