ProgramsYouth & 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 provides 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. Throughout the program teens gain valuable leadership skills and gain knowledge in local food systems and food justice.
For more information see the Position Overview below. We are no longer accepting applications for this year, but will be accepting applications in the Spring of 2017!
Here is a photo of one of our Teen Mentors preparing a delicious salad after harvesting lettuce, beets, carrots, edible flowers, and herbs from our Growing Hope farm!
The Teen Mentors help to maintain Clifford the Truck, our mobile demonstration farm.
Youth Field Trips
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, administrators 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. In 2016 we are working closely with the Perry Early Learning Center to jumpstart their school garden and healthy lunchroom.
Perry Early Learning Center students and Growing Hope staff helping to till the soil at the Perry Garden. Perry Early Learning Center students helping to plant squash, pumpkins, beans, and tomatoes!
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.
Find out more about the Coordinated School Health Team’s Wellness Policy