|We believe that it’s vital for young people to know where their food comes from. In 2016, we are working with youth at Mickle, Everett, and Dawes schools, and other area youth groups.
Our youth education program is featured in this video, created by Nolan Tredway for Crops. The video below features past youth coordinator Becky Keim, and the students she worked with at Mickle and Dawes.
Farm to School is a growing movement across the nation to reconnect youth with the origins of the food system. At Community Crops, we’ve been working with collaborative partners to bring more Farm to School programming to Lincoln schools. The National Farm to School Network with FTS says it best:
“Students gain access to healthy, local foods as well as education opportunities such as school gardens, cooking lessons and farm field trips. Farm to School empowers children and their families to make informed food choices while strengthening the local economy and contributing to vibrant communities.”
Locally, Lincoln Public Schools nutrition services department has been working hard to increase the amount of locally produced food in the cafeteria and to educate students about the importance of eating more fresh produce.
Our Young Urban Farmers Club at Mickle Middle School has been very popular, thanks to major improvements to the garden space. We added nearly 200 square feet of raised beds in the hoop house, built seven new planter beds in the garden space, and planted two apple trees and numerous perennial flowers.
Youth participants spend time in the garden growing and eating food while learning science, math and art. By participating in growing their own food, these kids become better eaters, more aware of their own health and more connected to nature and the environment. The Young Urban Farmers Club also provides kids with engaging, unstructured activity in the outdoors.
With the success of our youth program at Mickle Middle School, Community Crops joined in collaboration with NeighborWorks Community Learning Center to bring youth programming to Dawes Middle School. Four days a week, we are providing students with lessons on gardening, nutrition, cooking and art. These programs bring opportunities for much needed physical activity and lessons on nutrition, healthy eating, cooking and basic organic gardening practices. Raised beds provide space for students to grow their own food on school grounds.
Everett has a small garden now, and is planning a large garden and Outdoor Classroom project. Stay tuned for details!
For more information on the Crops Youth Program or to set up a session with students, contact Ben at (402) 474-9802 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
AmeriCorps members through ServeNebraska provide important service to the community and youth gardens, ensuring that everyone has access to healthy, local food. Positions start annually in September.