Youth & Schools

Growing Hope provides school and youth programming which involve classroom, after-school, and summer educational opportunities for young people. Growing Hope provides school and youth programming throughout the school year and into the summer.

Our youth programs combine hands on gardening education with healthy eating and cooking lessons. During the school year our team runs Seed2Plate after-school clubs at Ypsilanti schools and community centers. Ypsilanti area teens are employed through Growing Hope as teen mentors. These teens are trained as nutrition educators to help lead our Seed2Plate sessions for younger youth. The teens gain job skills, develop as leaders, and learn the basics of eating and cooking healthy, local food. In addition, Growing Hope hosts youth field trips and volunteer groups at our Growing Hope Center demonstration farm and children’s garden. In 2016 we will focus more of our work supporting local schools to develop their own gardens and help train and empower these schools to take part in the farm to cafeteria/healthy lunchroom movement.

Seed2Plate After-School & Summer Programs
Growing Hope partners with Ypsilanti schools and community centers to empower young people to make healthy lifestyle choices through gardening, healthy cooking and eating. We work in after-school settings and in summer camps teaching garden-based nutrition education lessons; these lessons are interactive, hands-on and introduce youth to gardening and cooking concepts.
Teen Mentors

We provide job preparation skills and employment opportunities for youth ages 14 to 18 through Growing Hope’s Teen Mentor program. These teens learn nutrition and gardening concepts through weekly “Veggucation” sessions, and assist in our Seed2Plate summer camps. They also help lead our sampling and cooking demonstration booths at our Farmers Markets and Mobile Farm Stands.

Youth Field Trips
School and youth groups visit the Growing Hope Center throughout the year to learn about organic gardening and healthy eating. Youth of all ages are welcome to explore our childrens’ garden or Clifford the Truck Farm, harvest vegetables to make healthy pizza in our adobe oven, or make smoothies on our bike blender.


School Gardens

Growing Hope  plays an active role in helping establish and supporting gardens in Ypsilanti area schools. We facilitate an annual Garden Leadership Training where teachers, parents, administer and students learn about organizing and sustaining a school garden. We also work closely with staff and administrators to encourage and support cafeterias to provide and promote local produce from area farms and gardens.

Health and Wellness in Ypsilanti Schools

Growing Hope sits on the Ypsilanti Coordinated School Health Team, a coalition of teachers, parents, faculty, school administrators, and nutrition educators whose mission is to promote and implement the district’s Wellness Policy. The Policy guides everyone in the district to make healthy lifestyle choices through eating, physical activity and mental health.

The Michigan Nutrition Network supports much of Growing Hope’s youth programming.


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