At Chicago's Smart Love Preschool, the children have been busy all year round, growing the food they have at snacktime in their very own garden. The preschool is part of Smart Love Family Services (SLFS), an outstanding Chicago based organization that seeks to better the lives of children and families through counseling, early childhood education and parenting programs. 

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One of the cornerstones of the Natalie G. Heineman Smart Love Preschool is its lovely garden, which teaches kids about the science of plants, animals, weather and the environment, while also giving them a chance to enjoy some of their garden grown goodies. Here's your chance to not only support this amazing program but also taste some of the vegetables harvested by the children: the first annual Garden Harvest Reception on September 20 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. 

At the adults-only Garden Harvest reception, the preschool hopes to share how much its students have learned about and enjoyed their gardens this summer. 

"Socially, children enjoy discovering all the wonders of the garden together," explains Carolyn Stolper Friedman, Executive Director at Smart Love Family Services. "They share exciting ideas and learn from one another through digging, planting, watering and harvesting. Emotionally, children experience the garden as a way to 'grow' and develop competence and confidence in themselves in their ability to garden. They see a clear and astonishing result from their efforts. Their deepest pleasure comes from realizing that the seed they planted grew to develop into a fruit or vegetable that they can now sit down together with their friends and eat!"  

The event will feature an organic menu created from Smart Love's gardens and other local sources prepared by Big Delicious Planet, a 4-star certified green caterer. Guests can listen to music from the Lantern Kickers and learn about the school's gardening curriculum from "Farmer Billy" Burdett, the school's gardening teacher.

Funds raised at the event will support the preschool's Garden Program. Tickets start at $100 each and are currently available at: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e9jixi4i5dc4e2bd&llr=m6r7ljeab

For more information, visit smartlovefamily.org.