Submitted by GRuB

Garden-Raised Bounty (GRuB) is celebrating the “GRuBuation” of its 19th youth cohort on Tuesday, June 12, from 5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at its West Olympia farm. Students come to GRuB struggling in school and/or dealing with hunger. In GRuB’s youth program, they work hard on the land and with one another to grow good food, meaningful relationships, and opportunities for a better future. They lead groups of volunteers and hundreds of younger children on farm-based field trips, speak to local city councils and service clubs, build backyard gardens with families with low-incomes, grow thousands of pounds of fresh food for local seniors and food bank clients, and much more.

According to educator Bell Hooks, learning is about “imagining possible futures.” It is also about relationships; classrooms are microcosms of our larger society. The problems youth face aren’t just theirs, but those of our families, communities, and society as a whole. When young people grapple with inherited injustices, it shows up in the classroom. When young people imagine and act on solutions to these problems, it shows up far beyond it.

The problems we collectively face are huge. They sometimes feel insurmountable. And yet– to paraphrase Kim Gaffi, GRuB co-founder, there is nothing more valuable to a gardener than a big pile of compost. There is also no one better-equipped to solve a problem than a person who has lived through and reflected on it. GRuB works to harness the fertile ground of our community’s challenges and wisdom of its youth to create opportunities for growth and transformation. Kyle Parker, current GRuB Youth, says, “GRuB gave me a chance to prove that I’m not a nobody, but I am a somebody.” The parent of another current student expresses excitement that their son is “learning lots in a place he feels valued. At least once a week he comes home excited to share something that he has learned.”

“I remember that GRuBuation for me as a youth was an opportunity for me to reflect on the growth I had seen in myself and my peers over the last year in the program, and I got to hear from others how they had seen me grow,” shares Mallorie Shellmer, GRuB’s Pollination and Operations Coordinator and program alumna. “It really meant a lot to have a space to share and celebrate all of our team’s work that we had done together, and having so many people from the community there made that work and growth feel even more important.”

“Magic and transformation happen at GRuB in our youth programs. GRuBuation is a wonderful time to pause, celebrate, reflect, and hear from the most important voices in our youth work: the students,” says Wade Arnold, GRuB School Lead Educator and youth program alumni. “We’re approaching our 20th year of providing teens a special experience, and I’d love to see the community support us in perhaps the most dire time in this generation to empower young adults by nurturing them, hearing them out, and empowering them to bolster this community.” Please join us at 2016 Elliott Ave NW for GRuBuation. Carpooling, bussing & biking are strongly encouraged.

GRuB is a community-based nonprofit located in Olympia, WA, recently named Nonprofit of the Year by Thurston Economic Development Council. Its mission is to grow healthy food, people, and community. Its vision is of an equitable world where we are all nourished by healthy relationships, resilient community, and good food. Each year, GRuB directly engages approximately 650 Thurston County residents of all ages in relationships-based programming around food and agriculture. Visit www.goodgrub.org for more information

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