Asset Based Community Development (ABCD)

According to LaManda Joy the author of Start A CommunityFood Garden, Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) is an approach that helps communities and groups focus on what they do have instead of what they don’t. The ABCD approach is very powerful because instead of creating anxiety about what a community may be lacking it encourages group to celebrate their strengths.

After assessing its strengths Mallinckrodt Academy School Garden joined hands with Gathsemane Lutheran Church across the street from them.  Pr. Kendra Nolde embraced the idea of holding the student and parent organized Farmers Market with open arms. Fontbonne University students also partnered up with school students to provide nutrition based handouts and attached recipe cards to the produce school students were selling. This summer project allowed students to learn many life skills that couldn’t be taught in classroom. Along the way, students raised approximately $600, which went toward purchasing Journals for 100 students.


Most of all, this project allowed for community building. It was great for school parents and students to get to know the kind folks over at the church. It was great for churchgoers to see the faces of the students that attend the school in their neighborhood and meet the parents.


After the end of 6 weeks of Sunday farmers market, Pr. Kendra reached out to see if many curious folks at the church could get a tour of the garden. This past Sunday Corbin and Davin from the 3rdgrade volunteered to lead the garden tour. Parents and students are a great asset and wonderful advocates for a school garden.  Cobin and Davin were so proud they were picked to give a tour. They were a bit nervous about talking to a group of people but did a fabulous job when the time arrived. Isn’t this how great leaders start out?

In the pictures below, the students are showing off their school garden.


They found a monarch chrysalis hanging outside the cafeteria door